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Mass. Issues Medical Marijuana Regulations

Update Date: Mar 29, 2013 05:49 PM EDT
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Nearly 20 million people admitted to using marijuana. (Photo : Flickr/cagrimmett)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) posted draft regulations Friday for implementation of the state's new medical marijuana law, including permission for marijuana recipients to have up to 10 ounces of pot for 60 days.

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The 45-page draft regulations are available for review at the DPH's medical marijuana website.

"DPH solicited an unprecedented level of input in drafting these regulations to create a medical marijuana system that is right for Massachusetts," according to DPH Interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith. "In this proposal, we have sought to achieve a balanced approach that will provide appropriate access for patients, while maintaining a secure system that keeps our communities safe."

The regulation states that applicants who want to open a medical marijuana treatment center, known as a dispensary, must be a nonprofit and operate their own cultivation and dispensing facilities. No wholesale distribution of marijuana products would be allowed, the department said in a news release.

In November, 63 percent of Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question with majority support from 349 out of 351 communities across the state. This allowed medicinal marijuana to be consumed by patients with certain conditions, including cancer, Parkinson's disease and AIDS. The measure became law on Jan. 1, however it requires the state to issue regulations by this May governing how the law will be implemented.

The new law allows for as many as 35 nonprofit dispensaries to open around the state where patients can receive up to a 60-day supply of marijuana.

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