LEGAL WEED: Are We Good To Grow Yet? (Part II)
Dope Magazine - Mark Ward - 08/05/2016
Taxes aren’t the only facet of corporate and political ravenousness that hinders citizens and patients from cultivating.Patriot Care is a company that has acquired licenses for cannabis facilities in Boston, Greenfield and presently has a dispensary and cultivation facility in Lowell, Massachusetts. The company is directed by CEO Bob Mayerson, who would know a great deal about big business as former president and chief officer at Eastern Mountain Sports, and through his financial roles at Pepsi and Staples. Patriot Care’s Lowell facility joins Ayer, Brocton, North Hampton and Salem as a select few Massachusetts cities with facilities providing medicine to cannabis patients. The Boston and Greenfield facilities will be completed over the summer. Patriot Care has made an arrangement with the city of Lowell containing such conditions that they will pay $25,000 to the city for every dispensary that uses their cultivation center’s products. It would make sense that medical and recreational home cultivation would compromise the great investments these companies have placed into the medical cannabis industry.
Activist Brianna Morrel clarifies why Patriot Care’s lobbyists work so diligently to inhibit legalization and home grows, “Patriot Care has associations with anti-legalization campaigns in Massachusetts.” According to Morrel, “Patriot Care has vowed to never become a recreational dispensary even after legalization. Their board has voiced support for Flaherty’s zoning bill which would restrict how closely dispensaries can open to one another. Patriot Care’s lobbyist, Daniel Delaney, has filed an anti-legalization effort (supposedly on his own accord) dubbed, Safe Cannabis Massachusetts, as well as having a second connection to Safe Cannabis Massachusetts through outsourced contractor Greg Czarnowski, owner of the domain registered to the anti-legalization group.”
Ultimately we have come to find that legal home cultivation is imperiled and confined to only a few medical cannabis states, but is not consistently permitted in all. Dispensaries have not only campaigned to regulate dispensary proximity zoning, but also how close a patient’s home grow may be to their establishment as well. Dispensary administrations are going so far as to support and even form anti-legalization organizations in an effort to combat competitive growing. At the same time, they are actively supporting lawmakers’ proposed tax-per-plant policies, setting up patients for anxiety, compliance failure and potential prosecution. As a result of all of this intimidation, apprehension and confusion, the question we are left with is: are we good to grow yet?
“These dispensary administrations are going so far as to support and even form anti-legalization organizations in an effort to combat competitive growing.”