For perhaps the first time in history, cannabis advocates lined up outside a new medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts…not to welcome it, but to protest it.
Why? Because they say a lobbyist tied to the dispensary’s parent company opposes ending prohibition on adult-use marijuana.
Lobbyist Dan Delaney, who is employed by the parent company of the Lowell, Massachusetts, dispensary Patriot Care, recently started a group that is seeking to counter a recreational legalization initiative in the state that’s expected to be on the November ballot.
Protesters also accused Patriot Care, which has three licenses in the state, of trying to create a marijuana monopoly.
Nicholas Vita – CEO of Columbia Care, the parent company of Patriot Care and several other dispensaries elsewhere – was also at the opening. He dismissed the protest as a “non-issue,” according to the Lowell Sun.
Delaney is a former state health official who now runs his own lobbying firm and is also a lobbyist for Commonwealth Alternative Care, a dispensary enterprise applying for a Massachusetts medical marijuana license, according to Boston.com.
Delaney has said he isn’t necessarily opposed to recreational legalization, but he doesn’t like the model presented by the recreational campaign, which is backed by the Marijuana Policy Project.