New Mass. Medical Marijuana Law Still Raises Questions

(NECN: Jennifer Eagan, Brookline, Mass.) - Medical marijuana promises to be big business in Massachusetts.

Eric Brasidio hopes to get one of the coveted 35 medical marijuana treatment center licenses the Department of Public Health will hand out sometime after May 1.

The state regulations are still in the works, making things hazy for the perspective shop owner.

About 50 people packed into a room Friday at the Brookline Public Library to listen to legal advice from the Mass. Medical Marijuana Dispensers' Association, a group headed up by lawyer Bob Carp.

For starters, Carp says this will be an all-cash business, since the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug.

"The credit card companies, most of them have federal licenses, realize that it is a controlled substance. They will not get involved in something where they could lose their licensing," Carp explained.

The treatment centers, or dispensaries, will be spread out across the state and will be non-profits, but that doesn't mean they won't make money.

"A non-profit can make a profit, but it has to distribute the profit to its employees, it has to do something charitable," Carp said. "People are not running this just to donate money, we all know that."

But Brasidio says he's not only interested because of the possible money to be made, but also interested in a higher purpose.

"For me, it's about the patients. Getting them the care they need, especially with my family member - that's where it really goes, that's where it hits the heart with me," he said.

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