, Salem, MA

Local News

May 8, 2014

Medical marijuana dispensary opening delayed

State verification process holds up Alternative Therapies' startup


According to the DPH website, that process was slated for March, meaning it’s at least a month behind schedule. In Salem, the DPH has verified that Alternative Therapies met with the city’s police chief, health agent and solicitor, but it hasn’t yet verified that the group met with the building inspector and city planner, said Dominick Pangallo, Mayor Kim Driscoll’s chief of staff.

Nor has the agency verified that the mayor sent a letter of non-opposition on behalf of the dispensary or that her staff met with the group.

A DPH spokesperson declined to comment and instead forwarded a statement that had been circulated in the media earlier in the week:

“DPH’s focus is on striking the appropriate balance between ensuring patient access and public safety. To that end, we are engaged in a process of fully verifying all information and operational plans submitted by dispensary applicants. That process takes time.”

Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana in 2012.

Neil H. Dempsey can be reached at




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