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Salem possible site for new marijuana dispensary

Two of the non-profit organizations that formed to provide medical marijuana under the implementation of Massachusetts’ new law have announced intentions to operate dispensaries in Salem but no one yet knows exactly where.

Alternative Therapies Group and Good Chemistry of Massachusetts have both made it to phase two of the application process, which includes a state decision about appropriateness of the business site. Phase one involved evaluation of the organization itself, including the ability to sufficiently fund the new operation.

Christopher Edwards, 38, who heads Alternative Therapies Group (ATG) out of Newburyport, said he is looking at the “technology park area” in Salem, which is also off Swampscott Road. ATG has been represented by Salem Attorney and former city councilor George Atkins. In October, the Salem City Council voted to approve the process to allow development of a marijuana dispensary in the city. Former state representative David Torrisi has also been representing ATG in public meetings including meetings in Andover where they are also exploring a dispensary site.

Edwards is described as an “entrepreneur” from Newburyport and holds a registered trademark for Glydeskin condoms. Glydeskin does not yet have a working website and is is unclear how, if at all, this business may connect with his medical marijuana business. He is also the CEO of Blackfin Media, based in Newburyport. BlackFin Media is described on its web site as “a full-service web development firm, delivering high-end custom website design, programming, SEO and marketing campaign solutions”.

Good Chemistry of Massachusetts is actually a local based subsidiary of a Colorado based company. Representing the local entity on the Massachusetts application is Jamie Lewis of Denver-based Mountain Medicine and Good Chemistry, Jamie is described as “head chef” of Mountain Medicine, which specializes in the baking of marijuana edibles such as cookies and cakes. Mountain Medicine’s web site notes that “We also know that it’s important for patients to have high quality medicine. And that’s why we work hand-in-hand with Good Chemistry, a dispensary known for their quality, to select only the finest cannabis for everything we make”. The web site further notes that Lewis is classically trained in Le Cordon Blue Culinary Arts Program. Jamie Lewis is also a board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and listed as owner of both medical marijuana companies

Lewis is apparently the more experienced at running a marijuana dispensary operation but Edwards is locally based with some important political connections. It will be interesting to see who actually opens up the first “pot shop” in Salem.

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