WORCESTER – The Board of Health voted Monday night to issue new licenses to three medical marijuana dispensaries, allowing them to extend their hours to stay open until 10 p.m. daily.
Under their original licenses, medical marijuana dispensaries could not remain open after 7 p.m.
But in March the Board of Health unanimously voted to amend its regulations to allow them to stay open until 11 p.m. daily. They cannot open before 8 a.m., or 10 am. on Sundays.
The amendment was intended to bring the hours of medical marijuana dispensaries in line with the hours for adult-use marijuana retail stores. Those hours are set by the Planning Board through a special permit process and by the License Commission.
To have extended hours, medical marijuana dispensaries have to apply for a new license from the Board of Health. The three that requested a change in their hours of operation were Good Chemistry, 9 Harrison St.; Resinate Inc., 1191 Millbury St.; and The Botanist, 46 Pullman St.
Good Chemistry sells medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana at the same location.
Resinate and The Botanist currently sell medical marijuana only, but both have received special permits from the Planning Board for adult-use sales. They are both awaiting final approval from the state Cannabis Control Commission.
The different sets of hours were creating problems for those that co-locate their medical and adult-use marijuana sales. Under the old hours, dispensaries had to turn away medical patients while the same space was still open for recreational sales.
The Board of Health set the original regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in June 2017, before adult-use marijuana sales began.
Good Chemistry asked the Board of Health in November to consider amending its regulations governing the hours of operation for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Good Chemistry and The Botanist requested permission to extend their daily hours for their medical marijuana dispensaries to 10 p.m., while Resinate wanted to be able to remain open until 11 p.m.
Board member Frances Anthes said she was reluctant to have one dispensary remain open until 11 p.m. while the others would be closing at 10 p.m.
She suggested keeping the closing hours uniform at 10 p.m. for all three dispensaries.
Board members Dr. Jerry Gurwitz and David Fort agreed that it would be more efficient to have consistent closing hours for the three.
Fort added that if Resinate is still interested in pursuing an 11 p.m. closing for its medical marijuana dispensary, it can come back before the Board of Health seeking that change after it also begins adult-use sales.
“At some point we can consider it,” he said.
Under the new licenses, the hours of operation for the three medical marijuana dispensaries will be as follows:
• Good Chemistry – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
• The Botanist – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Since opening, it has not been open on Sundays.
• Resinate – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.