State Releases Draft Medical Marijuana Regulations

The public has until April 20 to comment on the long-awaited draft regulations on how medical marijuana may be dispensed in Massachusetts.


The regulations define everything from a debilitating medical condition to a certifying physician. They also outline the process for a physician to register as a prescribing physician. For example, a physician who wants to become certified must have one established practice in the state and an active full license with no prescribing restrictions. 

Once a patient is diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, they can apply for a registration card that would be valid for five years from the date of issue and can be renewed. 

The guidelines also outline the process for becoming a dispensary agent. Any agents must be 21 years of age, have no felony convictions and cannot operate more than three dispensaries. 

Medical marijuana treatment centers will be required to make vaporizers available for sale and have programs for reduced or free marijuana for patients that cannot afford it. 

All products sold at a dispensary must be packaged in plain, childproofed containers with no cartoons or depictions of the product. 

Read the proposed medical marijuana regulations here. 

According to a memo from the state Department of Public Health,

  • The public comment period will run from March 29 through April 20. 
  • On April 19, 2013 DPH will hold three public hearings in Plymouth, Boston, and Northampton to receive further comment on the proposed regulations. 
  • Following the comment period, Department staff will return to the Council on May 8, 2013 to provide a review of the testimony, to present any changes proposed in response to the testimony, and to request approval for promulgation of the regulation. 

What do you think of the proposed regulations? Tell us in the comments below.


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