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Jun 10, 2015 12:00 AM

Landrigan: Medical marijuana clears a hurdle but for winning bidders the hard work now begins


"I think it's ridiculous i am labeled a criminal by my government for using something that's keeping me alive.’’

That was Clayton Holton pleading to bring medical marijuana quickly here.

Holton died last September from a wasting muscular dystrophy that turned a six-foot-man into 70 pounds; he said illegal marijuana kept him alive 15 years longer.

"I look at Clayton's picture every day I go out the door and I promised his family at his memorial service that we would keep working until we got this to other people,’’ said State Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, one of the chief architects of the 2013 medical marijuana law.

On Tuesday, state officials finally announced three firms chosen to run four treatment centers in distinct regions of the state.

There’s Sanctuary ATC in the north, Prime Alternate Treatment Centers in the south and central and Temescal Wellness on the southeast and western parts of the state.

"I would imagine that all the successful applicants have worked with consultants and potentially with dispensaries in other states,’’ said Matt Simon, New England director of the Marijuana Policy Project.

NH1 News has learned two selected vendors have the same name as companies already in the business. For example, The Sanctuary as it's called runs medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, South Dakota and California.

And Temescal Wellness is seeking licenses in Florida and created by the former executive of one of the nation’s largest medical marijuana firms.

Opening of the first center could be a long nine months away from opening but Matt Simon says that's not much time for these vendors to create a mature market.

"So this adds to the fear that when these dispensaries do open they will not have adequate supply, there could be rationing and there could be extremely high prices,’’ Simon added.


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