Massachusetts has appointed seven government, health care and law enforcement officials to a committee that will make the final decisions on medical marijuana dispensary licenses.
About 100 applicants have made it to the last phase of the licensing process. The state is now vetting the applications and will award up to 35 licenses in the next few months.
None of the names on the committee come as a surprise. But there are some concerns that several former elected officials who have submitted applications – including US Rep. William Delahunt, former House Speaker Thomas Finneran and a handful of former state senators – will use their influence and connections to secure a license.
Those are valid fears, given that it’s all about who you know in many aspects of the state’s political and business worlds. But the committee will be forced to use a grading system to rate the applicants, and hopefully that will minimize favoritism.
Here are the members of the Registered Marijuana Dispensary Selection Committee:
- Madeleine Biondolillo, associate commissioner and bureau director for health care safety and quality at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Todd Brown, vice chair of the pharmacy practices department at Northeastern University and executive director of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association
- John Carmichael Jr., deputy policy chief of the Walpole Police Department
- Suzanne Cray, deputy chief of staff at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
- Georgia Simpson May, director of the Office of Health Equity at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Louise Rice, a public health consultant and former senior director of Public Health Nursing and School Health Services at the Cambridge Public Health Department
- Cheryl Anne Sbarra, senior staff attorney at the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards