(ptownie is grateful to Acting Town Manager David Gardner for supplying us with the Ptown update!)

Where and when?
So here’s the scoop on what you need to know about our soon-to-be-in-place marijuana dispensaries!

All seven dispensaries (BWell, Curaleaf, Green Harbor, Haven Center, Heal, Hennep, and Verdant) are still making their way through the licensing process in Provincetown, which includes a community meeting, a community host agreement, a special permit from the planning board, and finally an annually renewable license from the licensing board.

There are at present no town license regulations in place. The town meeting passed the authority to grant licenses, and the licensing board will move that forward at its next meeting. So for most of the dispensaries, that final step is the last hurdle to pass. (The exceptions are Green Leaf and Haven Center, which still need to go before the planning board.) Curaleaf has a building permit and is already working on its space, and it may be the first dispensary to open. Verdant is investing the most, as it has had to demolish the existing building and rebuild from scratch. Green Harbor was unable to work with the flooding and stormwater issues at its original Court Street location, and will be occupying the former pet resort on Shank Painter Rd.

On the state level, the Commonwealth has all the applications, but there are never updates issued on their progress. Curaleaf and Heal will have priority processing for adult use, as they already have medical use licenses elsewhere. Once the state grants approval, Acting Town Manager David Gardner says, they’ll be good to go: “I don’t want to be the one to delay them opening.”

What else do I need to know?
There’s a potpourri (no pun intended!) of information that’s important for you to know before the dispensaries open. Let’s start with the fun stuff…

How do they feel about Provincetown?
That’s simple: they’re delighted, if this remark by Patrik Jonsson, the president of Curaleaf Massachusetts is anything to go by:

“We are so excited to join the Ptown community as a year-round business and look forward to providing more than just adult use cannabis; we are also excited to offer educational seminars to those interested in learning more about cannabis and cannot wait to work alongside the many other great organizations that are already helping out to make Provincetown such an amazing community.”

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How much can I possess?
Under Massachusetts’ new recreational cannabis laws, adults 21 years of age or older are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of concentrate outside of their residence and up to ten ounces of marijuana inside their residence. Additionally, adults may possess and cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants with a maximum of 12 per household.

Where can I consume it?
You may not consume marijuana in any form (smoke, edibles) in public. This is tricky, as it’s impossible to look at an edible and know it’s pot! So the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission is this month considering regulations on consumption, with the possibility of granting licenses to cannabis cafés as well as special permits for onsite social consumption for events. In both these cases, cannabis consumption cannot be combined with alcohol consumption, and in any case smoking will not be permitted. There is a strong possibility that the commission will start a pilot program for social consumption with Provincetown as a potential location.

The social consumption question is obviously complex for us. Provincetown receives visitors and seasonal workers as well as being home to many who rent their space, so it’s difficult to see where they will be able to consume marijuana, which is why an edible café has so much potential for this town.

How much can I use?

  • Medical use: Under the medicinal marijuana statute, which went into effect in 2013, qualifying patients 18 years of age or older with certain debilitating medical conditions can possess and use marijuana if they have a physician certification. Without the necessary paperwork for medicinal marijuana, the possession of medical marijuana in Massachusetts is against the law. The amount of medical marijuana a patient may purchase in Massachusetts is currently limited to a 60 day supply of up to 10 ounces from a dispensary with each prescription. Patients might be able to purchase more if their doctor deems it medically necessary.
  • Adult use: Marijuana establishments may not sell more than one ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of concentrate to a consumer per transaction. Edible marijuana can take up to as much as 1.5 hours to take effect and the dosing may be different based on the individual’s tolerance or other factors, so users should avoid consuming multiple doses of edible marijuana products within that timeframe.

As you see, the medical dose is higher than the adult use dose, so be careful not to confuse the two.