The state announced this week that 16 of the 18 applicants in Essex County for licenses under the new medical marijuana law were approved and will be moving to the second round of selections. Some of the reasons cited for denial of the applications were “failure to incorporate as a non-profit” or lack of ability to prove financial viability. Statewide, 158 license applications were approved out of a pool of 181.
The application process is under the control of the Commonwealth's Department of Public Health which has been proceeding slowly and carefully to close many of the massive loopholes in the law, passed last November.
One of the more interesting applicants in Essex County is Jayne Vining, representing the CAS Foundation, Inc. Ms. Vining's organization, the Cardiac Arrhythmia Syndromes Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit based in Andover, Massachusetts. Its mission is to bring preventative heart screenings to school children and usually partners with local area hospitals to accomplish this mission.
The CAS Foundation web site, www.safebeat.org lists heart screening programs in 5 states plus the District of Columbia but does not list running a marijuana dispensary as one of it services.
Jaime Lewis, representing Good Chemistry Inc. is another applicant in Essex, as well as Suffolk and Worcester counties. Ms. Lewis is on the roster of the National Cannabis Industry Association as an Educational Series Speaker. The NCIA's mission statement includes:
- NCIA publicly advocates for the unique needs of the emerging cannabis industry and defends against threats to the legal market for cannabis and cannabis-related products.
- NCIA is the nation’s only industry-led organization engaging in legislative efforts to expand and further legitimize the legal cannabis market in the U.S
Jaime Lewis, based in Denver, Colorado is described in her NCIA bio summary as "the Chief Operating Officer of Good Chemistry where she is responsible for operations and business development of this leading medical marijuana provider in Colorado, renowned for its community engagement and philanthropic efforts. She is also the owner of Mountain Medicine, an award-winning medical marijuana infused products manufacturer in Denver focusing on providing high quality medical marijuana edibles and infused products."
It is anticipated that round two of the application process will shed further light on who will ultimately be granted permission to grow and distribute marijuana under this new Massachusetts law.