Wareham medical marijuana dispensary awarded recreational license

By Meghan Neely | Aug 09, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Pharmacannis Massachusetts Executive Director Shelley Stormo, left, and Verilife General Manager Holly Carroll give a tour of a new medical marijuana dispensary back in May.

Verilife, the first medical marijuana dispensary to open up shop in Wareham, was awarded a provisional license for recreational sales of cannabis on Thursday, Aug. 9, by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

But potential customers shouldn't get their hopes too high just yet.

According to Pharmacannis Massachusetts Executive Director Shelley Stormo, recreational sales at Verilife won't begin until October.

"We're very excited to start serving our community," Stormo said. "But there are still a few more steps we have to take."

In order to start recreational sales, Verilife will have to sign off on several waivers with the Department of Public Health. These waivers will allow the general public to enter the dispensary alongside medical marijuana patients who are currently vetted for admittance to the store.

Verilife will also be subject to inspections by the Cannabis Control Commission.

"You never know how things will go in this industry," Stormo said. "But I'm confident in our ability to continue moving forward."

Verilife officially opened its doors in Wareham on May 31, five years after it announced plans to do so in 2013.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts since 2012, and in November 2016 recreational marijuana was approved by a state ballot question.

A July 1 target date for recreational sales this year passed without a single store opening in Massachuetts. Now, Verilife is one of five to hold a license.

"We're the first on the South Coast to be awarded," Stormo said.

According to Stormo, the recreational cannabis sold at Verilife will come from the dispensary's medical stock which is already lab tested and state approved.

"Our patients will remain our first priority," Stormo said, adding that Verilife will start a delivery service in September.

Those interested in recreational sales are encouraged to call Verilife at 508 538-9070 with questions or to join the company's e-mailing list. Due to state regulations, security at the dispensary is still tight. Only medical marijuana cardholders are allowed inside.

"We appreciate the continued support and interest," Stormo said.

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