New Hampshire’s first medical marijuana dispensary could open within a year in the tiny hamlet of Epping, about a half hour east of Manchester.
On Monday, Granite State Alternative Treatment Center presented a plan to the Epping Board of Selectmen for a $2 million, 12,600-square-foot dispensary that will serve around 100 patients a month to start. That number could grow to between 1,000 and 3,000 a month as the business matures, according to a presentation given by Dennis Acton, manager of the proposed dispensary.
Acton said that to run the dispensary, he plans to partner with PalliaTech, an MMJ company that already operates in Colorado, New Jersey and Montana.
Granite State Alternative is the first dispensary hopeful in the state to present its plan to a municipal board, according to various reports.
It must receive approval from two local boards and then the state Department of Health and Human Services – which could prove challenging.
The board of selectmen hemmed and hawed about how the dispensary could affect property values, and whether Epping is the right fit for the business. Board members even discussed possibly putting the question to town voters next March, even though that would be too late if the Planning Board and the state’s health department sign off on the dispensary plan.
The New Hampshire Legislature approved a limited MMJ law in 2013 that allows for up to four nonprofit dispensaries statewide, and Acton’s group is reportedly the first to start the application process.
Other dispensaries could also begin opening in 2015, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Two business licenses should be issued by the health department in January. The agency will begin accepting applications for the other two dispensaries in July.