Medical marijuana centers are coming to Cape Cod. Here are 10 things you should know about them:
· As of January 1, 2013, the new medical marijuana law will eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana.
· The statewide ballot initiative passed 63.3 percent to 36.7 percent. On the Cape, 61.5 percent of voters approved the new law.
· Barnstable has already has developed draft zoning rules for the centers. That said, there will be public hearings galore before there's a final decision on the measure.
· The proposal designating a medical marijuana treatment center overlay district for an area around Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis would extend from the Yarmouth town line to Lewis Bay Road and from Route 28 to Willow Street.
· The zoning amendment includes requirements such as a recommendation from the chief of police based on a background check on the center operator.
· 35 centers are allowed statewide in 2013 with at least one, but no more than five, per county.
· Qualifying patients will be allowed to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana from a registered nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center. Patients unable to access a center will be allowed to grow their supply inside under lock & key, but not out on the back 40.
· The Department of Public Health will establish what constitutes a 60-day supply of the drug. They probably won't be consulting Willie Nelson or Snoop Dogg to figure out that amount.
· The law does not change federal regulations prohibiting the possession of marijuana. The feds also consider farming the 60-day supply a felony forest.
· Sandwich selectmen have asked Gov. Deval Patrick for the law be delayed by six months, arguing that towns need more time to prepare. Sandwich's Town Manager is George "Bud" Dunham. Awesome.
Any thoughts on Barnstable's progress or where other towns might put their pot shops? Let us know in the comments or drop an email.
· Barnstable bylaw going to pot [Cape Cod Times]