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MA Entrepreneurs Gear Up For Medical Marijuana “Green Rush”

Saturday, February 02, 2013

 

Cannabis isn't the only green that Massachusetts' new medical marijuana law is poised to bring to the Bay State. Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs in the budding industry, and two events in Boston next week will help interested parties looking to get in on the ground floor.

DispensaryPermits.com will hold the Massachusetts marijuana "Green Rush" conference from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, at the Westin Copley hotel in Boston. The conference, which will feature speakers from New Jersey's first and only licensed dispensary, experienced medical marijuana attorneys and growers, is billed as a must for anyone interested in the Commonwealth's newest cash crop.

Jig Patel, director of DispensaryPermits.com, said 50 to 60 attendees have already been confirmed for the conference, and the company has been busy consulting with potential clients looking to take advantage of its expertise helping entrepreneurs obtain dispensary licenses and open medical marijuana related businesses in New Jersey, California, and Arizona.

"We're only going to take like 25 to 26 clients," Patel said. "We have 18 slots taken."

Patel said the biggest issue facing the industry in Massachusetts is the "don't know" factor.

"This is not only new to the state, but it's very new to the Northeast," he said, noting that entrepreneurs can't do feasability studies on existing businesses in the area and many lack the knowledge of how to develop a business plan or build out a facility in accordance with the specific needs of medical marijuana cultivation or distribution.

Leading medical marijuana law firm Vicente Sederberg, LLC is also holding an event for individuals and organizations interested in the industry. The "Medical Marijuana: Treatment Center and Cultivation Operations" seminar will be held 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, at the Omni Parker House in Boston. Attorney Shaleen Title said the firm is expecting 40 to 50 attendees for Thursday's event.

"I've seen interest from all over the state, but probably the most interest in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Worcester counties," she said.

While no one is quite sure how large the Bay State's medical marijuana industry will be, the market was valued at roughly $200 million in Colorado last year.

Even though the medical marijuana law in Massachusetts officially went into effect on January 1, the state's Department of Public Health has 120 days to develop its licensing rules and application process. Patel was not too optimistic about the DPH making its April 1 deadline based on prior experiences with the implementation of medical marijuana laws in other states.

"There's definitely going to be delays," he said, but added "I still see it on the fast track."

"It looks like DPH staff is doing everything they can to do a thorough job and write good regulations and get them out on time, including scheduling 3 listening sessions for the near future to get the public's input (with the first being in Worcester, of course)," said Title. "My expectation is that the regulations will not be significantly delayed and that treatment centers will open next year as planned."

 

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