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February 1, 2014

State OKs 2 pot shops in county

Dispensaries in Salem, Haverhill awarded provisional licenses


“It seems to me that the federal government has allowed this to operate in this sort of legal gray area,” he said.

In making the announcement yesterday, the DPH stressed the number of jobs that would be created by the dispensaries; Edwards said his site would eventually employ between eight and 12 people, though he does not need that many to open up for business.

The nonprofit’s license will be provisional until an inspection is made by the state right before the dispensary opens its doors, said Edwards. If it passes, the license will then become a full one.

Each dispensary applicant was graded by the state on a scale of 163 possible points. All of the successful applicants scored 137 or above, with the highest coming in at 160. Alternative Therapies scored 149. Two groups had hoped to open dispensaries in Beverly, but failed, scoring 134 and 135. A proposed Ipswich site scored 105.

Statewide, eight applicants that were not approved for their proposed locations were invited to apply to open dispensaries in Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes or Nantucket counties, where there were no successful applicants in this round. One of those dispensaries is Good Chemistry of Massachusetts, the other applicant that had listed Salem as its intended location; it scored 145. Good Chemistry was separately approved to open dispensaries in Worcester and Boston.

The state initially received 181 applications to open dispensaries, 158 of which were given the go-ahead to apply for the second phase of the application process. Of those, only 100 opted to do so, in part, perhaps, because they were required to pay a $30,000 fee and then show they had $500,000 available in cash.

The state could have approved as many as 35 dispensaries.

Alternative Therapies is scheduled to meet with the Gallows Hill neighborhood group on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at the A.O.H. on Boston Street in Salem.

Material in this report came from staff writers Neil H. Dempsey and Douglas Moser, who can be reached at and respectively.

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