Rule reversal means cannabis companies can now ship to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket

Some national press obviously kicked the commission into action

Mass Live

After weeks of worry over whether Martha’s Vineyard may be cut off from Massachusetts’ supply of legal cannabis, state officials on Thursday gave their approval for pot companies to ship products between the mainland and the islands off Cape Cod.

The move headed off concerns stemming from the closure of the Vineyard’s only operating pot farm and the looming closure of the island’s two dispensaries.

Because marijuana is federally illegal, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission previously said all pot sold on the Vineyard and Nantucket must be grown there too, lest businesses run afoul of laws barring the trafficking of illicit drugs through federal waters.

On Thursday, the commission approved an administrative order reversing that stance.

With the Vineyard’s cannabis supply seemingly at risk, the commission “made the decision that we needed to take immediate action,” Acting Commission Chair Ava Callender Concepcion said Thursday.

Nantucket has two shops that grow and sell marijuana. Neither was at imminent risk for closure.

Of particular concern on the Vineyard were the island’s roughly 230 medical marijuana patients, who depend on prescription pot to help them through medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and cancer.

“We never want to be putting consumers and patients in a place where they don’t have access to medicine, they don’t have access to cannabis,” Concepcion said. “We also don’t want to see (businesses) close their doors.”

Vineyard dispensary Fine Fettle said earlier this year that it was closing its marijuana grow facility, the only one on the island, and planned to shut down its retail store in the town of West Tisbury by September.

That prompted the closure of the Vineyard’s other dispensary, Island Time, which bought products from Fine Fettle.

Island Time owner Geoff Rose said Thursday that he hoped to reopen the store “very soon.”

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