Broadside: Countdown to Medical Marijuana

Mass. DPH's Karen van Unen oversees the state's medical marijuana program

Back in January, advocates for medical marijuana were hopeful the first Massachusetts clinics would open this summer.

However, a lot has happened since then, including the weeding out of several first round applicants.

Karen van Unen, the executive director of the state's medical marijuana program at the Department of Public Health, says the 11 remaining applicants must go through more steps before they can open a dispensary.

"It's moving into the inspectional phase, which allows them to set up their operations and that will include a number of grow-ready, processing-ready and retail-ready inspections that will happen up until the point of them getting their final certificate of registration, which means they can open up their doors and start serving patients," she explained.

Van Unen says the applicants that didn't make the latest round were cut after extensive background checks.

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