Retired Congressman Seeks 3 MA Dispensary Licenses

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A former Congressman from Massachusetts is among the 100 applicants vying for dispensary licenses in the state, underscoring the industry’s growing mainstream appeal.

Bill Delahunt, who represented Massachusetts’ 10th congressional district from 1997 to 2011 and now runs a government relations firm, is behind bids for medical cannabis dispensary permits in the cities of Mashpee, Plymouth and Taunton.

Delahunt is listed as the head of Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts Inc. in the applications.

The involvement of a former Congressman in a medical marijuana company is significant, even if he doesn’t actually win any licenses, as it helps change the perception of the industry. It also could convince more professionals and former politicians to get involved, helping to make cannabis mainstream.

Delahunt reportedly hitched his wagon to MMJ because he feels marijuana is a safer alternative for pain relief than legal drugs like OxyContin.

“No one has ever died from an overdose on marijuana,” Delahunt told the Boston Business Journal, adding that it has to be regulated and “done in a way that people have confidence in it.”

Massachusetts is currently vetting applications for up to 35 dispensary permits. Last week, the state announced that 100 companies submitted applications to move to the final round of the process. You can see the entire list of applicants – including the intended location of the dispensaries – here.

Of the remaining applicants, 17 propose opening a dispensary in Middlesex County, followed by Worcester (14) and then Norfolk (10).

No more than five dispensary licenses will be awarded per county.