First retail marijuana shop approved for Nantucket, despite unique testing challenges – MassLive.com


The Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a final license for the first marijuana retail store on the island of Nantucket.

The family-owned Green Lady Dispensary will be able to sell to the recreational market once it receives its final inspection and gets approval to begin sales. The dispensary will grow its own marijuana and will manufacture products. The dispensary is also seeking a license for medical marijuana sales in the same location.

Opening a store on Nantucket poses unique challenges. State law generally requires all marijuana products be tested by an independent lab. But there are no labs on the island, and federal law prohibits marijuana from being transported across federal waterways or federal airspace to labs on the Massachusetts mainland.

State law does carve out an exemption for marijuana stores on Dukes County and Nantucket allowing them to “test marijuana products in a manner that is not unreasonable (or) impracticable but also adequately protects the public health.” Options include using an on-site testing facility or non-licensed testing lab, as long as the method is approved by the Cannabis Control Commission.

“There are interesting, unique challenges on Nantucket,” said Cannabis Control Commission investigator Armond Enos at a commission meeting. “Public health and safety is of paramount concern.”

Enos said the dispensary has contracted with ProVerde, a lab in Milford, which will test the soil in which marijuana plants are grown for pesticides. He said soil testing will catch any pesticides that were applied to the plants. “Ideally, the actual plant would be tested, but with federal laws, we can’t have that,” Enos said. “The soil presents the next best alternative.”

The dispensary will also maintain an on-site testing lab to test for heavy metals and conduct microbial testing. The dispensary will be required to notify the Cannabis Control

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