GRAFTON, Mass. — It's difficult to determine how Grafton will comply with the commonwealth's complex new medical marijuana laws, health agent Lois Luniewicz said Monday night as she updated her board on a listening session she attended in Worcester.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health held the session Feb. 13 to gather public opinion as it works on regulations on how medicinal marijuana should be dispensed in Massachusetts.
“The DPH really have their hands full,” Luniewicz said. “There is so much to think about.”
In November, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts. In Grafton, nearly 59 percent voted to approve the measure.
The new law will allow 35 centers to open in the state next year, with a maximum of five per county, and will allow a patient to possess a 60-day supply.
But Grafton and other towns are awaiting direction from the state. Under law, the department has until the end of April to provide details on what defines as a 60-day supply, who would be qualified to run the dispensaries and how they must be licensed and regulated.
But there was discussion Feb. 13 about allowing communities with smaller populations and fewer public transportation resources to be granted a disproportionate number of centers, Luniewicz said.
Many in attendance also advocated that the new regulation stipulate each physician should be recommending the dosage based on the medical condition of each patient, she said.
In addition, she said some Worcester apartment building owners said local health ordinances ban smoking but the medical marijuana issue complicates that ban.
“I don’t understand how any state can pass a regulation that supersedes any federal law,” Luniewicz said Monday night.
There is no talk of modifying the existing bylaws to restrict a marijuana dispensary location in town, Grafton’s zoning enforcement officer Robert Berger said in an interview Monday afternoon.