Massachusetts moves to ease medical cannabis access

Medical marijuana companies in Massachusetts could see a hike in business once regulators implement several improvements to the state’s MMJ program.

The Department of Health proposed the changes in September 2016 but delayed acting on them amid concerns about how recreational marijuana legalization would affect the medical cannabis program, The Boston Globe reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Officials hope the changes will be in place by the end of the year. The changes must first be submitted to the state Public Health Council for formal approval, on Nov. 8, and then to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for certification.
  • Medical marijuana businesses – where growing, manufacturing and retailing are vertically integrated – will be allowed to grow cannabis from plant clippings instead of just seeds, which will increase yields and make it easier to keep strains consistent.
  • Dispensaries will be permitted to post prices online, making it easier for patients to comparison shop.
  • Certified nurse practitioners will be authorized to recommend medical marijuana, which MMJ advocates say would greatly expand the number of health professionals who can make recommendations.
  • Employees of nursing homes, hospice centers and other medical facilities will be permitted to administer MMJ to residents and patients in those facilities.