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Medical Marijuana Guidelines Get Mixed Reviews


AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — According to state guidelines, patients who have debilitating diseases like Chron’s, Parkinson’s, AIDS, or cancer will need written certification from a physician.

Doctors will largely decide who will get medical marijuana treatment

Steve DeAngelo has been a cannabis activist for over 40 years, and as the executive director at the Harborside Health Center in Oakland has seen firsthand the wonders that medical marijuana can work. “We have a patient whose name I can’t reveal who has a myopic tumor. This is a tumor that grows behind the eye and every week this patient has been bringing in MRIs that show the tumor has been shrinking progressively week after week after week,” DeAngelo said.

DeAngelo is in town talking to UMass Amherst students about his work on the heels of the state releasing their guidelines for medical marijuana laws.

Under the rules patients would be allowed 10 ounces for a 60 day supply, there could be as many as 35 dispensaries statewide, and applicants who want to open a dispensary must do so as a non-profit, and has to also be able to grow it. However, medical marijuana lawyer Michael Cutler sees some snags in the guidelines. “The interim provision of medicine that was supposed to be done by caregivers the statue places a limit on the number of patients a caregiver can grow for. The Massachusetts regulations have limited caregivers to providing for only one patient can designate two caregivers,” Cutler stated.

DeAngelo says that limiting patients to only one dispensary where they can buy their medicine means higher prices and smaller selections. However, the Department of Public Health is holding listening sessions statewide, where the community can voice their opinions.

In Western Mass, that forum will be held in Northampton on April 19th.

The Public Health Council will hold a vote after those hearings on May 8th. If they approve those regulations, they will go into effect on May 24th.

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