Company president seeking go-ahead from state; plan already has town’s OK
The president of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary is “cautiously optimistic” that the state Cannabis Control Commission will issue him a certificate of occupancy later this year that could lead to the opening of the facility in Hull early in 2022.
“Once that happens, we can file with the CCC for the final inspection, and then we could open anywhere from two to four months later,” Alternative Compassion Services’ Stephen Werther said of his plan to open a dispensary at 175 George Washington Blvd. It is expected to attract patients from Hull, other South Shore communities, and beyond.
The current plan calls for the dispensary to be open seven days a week. Delivery service out of the Bridgewater facility would be provided to patients in Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable counties.
ACS currently holds a provisional license for the dispensary, which won the town’s approval last year. Once the CCC’s physical and operational inspection of the facility is completed and the commission is satisfied that all the processes are in place to run the dispensary according to all the regulations, a license to operate is expected to be issued, according to Werther.
Renovations of the former Java Jungle coffee shop, where the dispensary would be located, have been underway for some time and are visible to those passing by the site.
ACS operates a business out of Bridgewater, where the company cultivates, produces, and dispenses medical marijuana to individuals who carry valid Massachusetts registration cards that allow them to purchase medical marijuana.
One of ACS’ stated goals is to help destigmatize medical marijuana use, which, statistics indicate, offers several health benefits. According to some medical marijuana supporters, those benefits could include: reducing seizures, pain, inflammation, and migraines; providing relief from stomach disorders; reducing anxiety; promoting bone growth; and inhibiting cancer cell growth.
ACS also provides patient consultations and educational seminars on how to properly use cannabis products.
Safety and security are of top priority, the company claims, with no one allowed to enter the building without proper identification or to purchase medical marijuana without a state-issued medical marijuana ID.
“We’ve had no problems with regard to safety at our Bridgewater facility,” Werther said, and he expects the same at the Hull location.
He noted that Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission regulations include a “secret shopper” program, where an individual under the required age of 21 would attempt to enter a dispensary and purchase marijuana to ensure such a situation is handled properly.
On-site consumption will not be allowed, including in the parking lot.
When the issue of patrons of the dispensary potentially “getting high” on marijuana was broached by a Planning Board member during a hearing last year, Werther said ACS recommends that their patients “use the least amount of marijuana as possible.” The amount of THC (the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis) in various products varies, and many contain only CBD (a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis).
During an earlier meeting, an ACS supporter pointed out the benefit of purchasing marijuana from a facility such as ACS “where it’s tested, safe, and regulated,” whereas marijuana purchased “on the black market can be spiked with [deadly] fentanyl.”
The ACS facility is expected to benefit Hull financially through an earlier-signed host agreement between the town and ACS.
Werther is also hoping that when clients visit the Hull dispensary, they will also patronize other local businesses such as shops and restaurants.