Examining the difference between recreational and medical mariju - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Examining the difference between recreational and medical marijuana

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

In 24 days, recreational pot shops will be legal in Massachusetts.

However, so far, the state has not issued a single license.  

"People want to think that marijuana is one product and it isn't.  It's 700 different products.  There's multiple different strains with multiple different levels of different kinds of any one of hundreds of cannabinoids and you can vape it, smoke it, eat it, put it under your tongue, rub it onto your skin," said Dr. Ruth Potee with Valley Medical Group.

Come July 1, anyone over the age of 21 can buy it legally from state approved pot shops.  

"This is a process.  Things may be open as of July 1, but there won't be many store fronts open and ready to go," Potee added.

In fact, the Massachusetts Cannibus Control Commission told Western Mass News that of the hundreds of applications filed so far, only 51 have completed the first step in the process.  

The CCC said that does not mean any of those applications will necessarily result in a license.

The majority of applicants are in central Massachusetts.  Four applicants are in Franklin County, three in Hampden County, two in Hampshire County, and one in Berkshire County. 

License types include: cultivators, manufacturers, research facilities, and retailers.

Potee is part of Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, a practice that certifies patients for medical marijuana use, albeit a small percentage.  She cautioned that pot sold in recreational versus medical storefronts is quite different. 

"The quality of the product is different.  The higher THC, the stuff that gets you high, is more likely to be found in a recreational store.  The higher other cannabinoids that help other symptoms would be found in a medical marijuana store," Potee said.
The CCC meets on June 14 to review which if any pot shop applicants will receive a license.

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