Medical Marijuana Rep: New Bedford Mayor Potentially Forcing Patients to Black Market
The executive director of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in New Bedford says his organization will try to keep pushing forward despite Mayor Jon Mitchell's efforts to halt discussions.
The City Solicitor contacted Beacon Compassion Center Monday, saying the City will no longer negotiate a host community agreement with the organization.
Stephen Angelo of Beacon says he understands Mayor Mitchell has been very open about his opposition to a dispensary in New Bedford, but is puzzled by the Mayor's willingness to allow City dollars to be spent at a dispensary in the works in neighboring Dartmouth. "I mean, that's very unrealistic to think that that's not going to happen," said Angelo. "And the only thing that's going to happen in the case that we don't proceed is that the City of New Bedford is not going to get this revenue."
Angelo says at this point Mayor Mitchell is essentially forcing those seeking medical marijuana treatment to either travel to the nearest dispensary, located in Brockton, or take unnecessary risks. "The more delays, the more opportunity they (the patients) have to be going out to the street to be purchasing this in the black market, not knowing what's included in that product, how it's been tested, how it's been treated. None of that. The risks are there."
Angelo says a host community agreement isn't necessary for Beacon to locate a dispensary within city limits, the end of the discussions sets the precedent that it will be exceedingly difficult to accomplish.
Beacon is proposing a dispensary in a brand new $1.5 million facility on Mount Pleasant Street.