Officials: Cannabis dispensary scheduled to open in Wareham this May

Mar 30, 2018

After three years of planning and development, a medical cannabis dispensary will open in Wareham this May. Recreational sales are scheduled to start in July, provided the state’s timeline remains unchanged, according to officials from Pharmacannis Massachusetts, Inc.

Located at 112 Main St., the facility will provide information and consultations for both medical and recreational (or “adult use”) customers.

“We have more of a clinical, compassionate approach,” said Mike Richards, the company’s sales channels manager.

A public information session on the dispensary is scheduled for April 3 at 6 p.m. in the Methodist Meeting House, located at 495 Main St.

On Thursday night, Richards, along with the facility’s general manager, Holly Carroll, and Pharmacannis Executive Director Shelley Stormo, offered a preview of the Wareham site before it’s scheduled to open.

Initially planned as a medical facility only, company plans changed when Massachusetts’ voters approved recreational use of cannabis in 2016. Cannabis for medical use was approved statewide in 2012. A few medical facilities are operating across Massachusetts now, but recreational facilities cannot open until this summer. Cannabis for medical use is regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. State officials will begin accepting applications for recreational facilities on April 1.

In the company’s Wareham dispensary, sales of cannabis for adult use and medical patients will follow similar procedures, said Stormo. All customers will have access to patient care representatives, trained to guide them in what strains of cannabis and ingestion methods will suit users best. However, Stormo said adult use customers will not be required to meet with a representative before buying.

Cannabis sold at the site will be tested following state guidelines. Starting in 2019, most of the cannabis sold at the company's Wareham site will be grown at a Pharmacannis-owned facility in Holliston. Until then, products for sale will be purchased through Massachusetts-based wholesalers, said Stormo.

Medical patients will be limited to purchasing 10 ounces of cannabis every 60 days. Adult use customers, who must be 21 or older, may purchase 1 ounce of cannabis over that same period, said Stormo.

Security will be tight at the facility. Everyone entering the building must have a valid ID or medical cannabis card, and there will be 24-hour video surveillance with a robust alarm system, said Stormo.

She noted that under state law, employees reserve the right to turn away potential customers who “are not appropriate for any reason.” Medical and adult use sales will take place in the same building, but in different, segregated locations, said officials. The facility will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sunday.

As part of the company’s host agreement with the Town of Wareham, $100,000 will be paid to the town this year, $125,000 in 2019 and $150,000 in 2020. Also, 3 percent of all adult use sales will be paid to the town.

Stormo, Richards and Carroll all said the company was looking forward to locating in Wareham.

“We don’t want to be a nuisance here,” said Stormo. “We want to be a part of the community, and we want to be a good neighbor.”