Pharma firm Alternative Therapies Group Inc. became the first company to get permission from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to grow marijuana for medical use in the state.
Alternative Therapies got approval from the health department on Wednesday to operate a cultivation site at 10 Industrial Way, Amesbury and a dispensary at 50 Grove St., Salem.
In a statement, state Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz said, “Providing safe patient access is a priority of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program, and we are proud to take this important step forward. Selecting dispensaries that meet our high standards takes time, but ensuring a launch of this new industry the right way for the people of Massachusetts is a top priority.”
But the residents still have to wait for at least a month to buy medical marijuana as the seeds need at least three months to grow. Following this, the grown marijuana will undergo further review, which would include tests of the plants as well as inspections of the transportation plans of the company.
Nichole Snow, deputy director of Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, said, “This is an exciting first step. I am overwhelmed with joy. It means that myself as a patient and other patients will have safe access to their much-needed medication.”
Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray also welcomed the decision, saying, “I look forward to seeing ATG develop as a positive contributor to the Amesbury community.”
According to its filing with the state, the Alternative Therapies has initially planned to sell the grown medical marijuana to 1,526 patients in the first year. The marijuana plants will be grown at ATG’s Amesbury cultivation site.