Martha’s Vineyard marijuana retailer reopens after waterway deliveries OK’d

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Adult-use and medical marijuana retailer Island Time in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, reopened for business Saturday after being closed for more than six weeks because of a lack of inventory, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Geoff Rose, owner of Island Time, told MJBizDaily he was forced to close the store May 14 after Fine Fettle, the only marijuana cultivator and manufacturer on Martha’s Vineyard, stopped growing cannabis and announced its intention to permanently close “no later than September.”

Since Island Time is surrounded by water and can be accessed only by sea or air, the development left Rose unable to accept product deliveries while remaining compliant with policies set by Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).

The issue came to a head in May, when Island Time joined forces with Green Lady Dispensary in Nantucket to sue the CCC.

After seeking answers from federal authorities, the CCC approved an administrative order on June 13 granting the plaintiffs the right to receive wholesale marijuana products via ship.

That’s how most consumer goods are transported to the island, according to Rose.

Seasonal tourism

The CCC’s decision could not come fast enough for Island Time, since businesses at the summer tourism destination make most of their profits between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“I’ve kept my key staff on payroll,” Rose said. “It’s just been very, very challenging.”

Every morning and night while the store was closed, Rose said, he worried about when Island Time would be able to reopen.

“I’m relieved because these last months have been anxiety provoking and frustrating,” he said.

“I’m glad that the commission and the staff finally addressed this important issue – it was long due for attention, no question.”

Public support

Rose told MJBizDaily that before the decision, the CCC held a public meeting on Martha’s Vineyard to better understand the transportation issues.

“I think that was very eye opening to them and a factor in making the decision to allow product (delivery),” he said.

“There were patients, patient-advocate groups, an authorizing physician and dispensary staff that really articulated the crisis and the impact on patients and customers.”

Rose added that community members said they were worried they would have to return to buying cannabis through illicit channels.

“They were very concerned about products and issues in the illicit market, specifically things like fentanyl,” he said.

“I think the commissioners really took that to heart, and it was a considerable factor in their making efforts to allow the transport.”

Kate Lavin can be reached at kate.lavin@mjbizdaily.com.

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