The Ware, Massachusetts Board of Selectmen have approved a bid by Curaleaf to co-locate a medical cannabis dispensary at the same location as the one in Ware the company currently has licensed for recreational sales, MassLive reports. The company is seeking the medical cannabis license after adult-use sales in the state were halted by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) as part of the response to the coronavirus pandmic.
Curaleaf Massachusetts President Patrik Jonsson told the board that the building has room for 16 sales counters and two would be dedicated to medical cannabis sales.
The company must negotiate a new host agreement with the town and obtain a special permit to operate, the report says. Jonsson indicated the approvals would be in place and the company could begin selling medical cannabis at the location by the end of the year. The firm already operates two medical cannabis dispensaries in Hanover and Oxford.
The Ware store had only been operational for 10 days prior to Baker’s shutdown order on March 23. That order is set to expire on May 4. Baker has extended that order for schools through the end of the academic year but has not said the business shutdown would be extended along with the order for schools; however, he has said the state would need to meet certain prerequisites – including a decline in coronavirus test results and COVID-19 hospitalizations over multiple, consecutive, days – before the order for businesses would be lifted.
Massachusetts is the only state to shut down recreational cannabis sales but deem medical cannabis “essential.” Earlier this month, five cannabis companies and one medical cannabis patient sued the state over the closures and last week a judge ruled that Baker acted within his authority to close the businesses.
In the ruling, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger said that state law only requires the governor to have some “rational basis” for shuttering the shops amid a pandemic and the plaintiffs would have “little chance” to prove Baker did not have that rational basis.