11/26/2013 10:45 am ET Updated Nov 26, 2013

Ex-Congressman Wants To Open Medical Pot Dispensaries

Former Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) has applied for three licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries, according to data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Friday.

Delahunt wants to open clinics in Mashpee, Taunton and Plymouth. In addition to running a consulting firm, he is also the CEO of Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, which would operate the dispensaries.

The Department of Public Health has been seeking bids in order to select state-licensed dispensaries after Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana in November of last year. Delahunt's clinics are one group out of 100 finalists announced Friday, out of which 35 or fewer will be chosen to operate (the prior review only considered 159 applications). The dispensaries will be not-for-profit businesses and are required to have $500,000 in startup cash. Massachusetts counties can have between one and five dispensaries, according to state law.

Delahunt is not the only former Massachusetts lawmaker to want to get into the medical marijuana business. Former state Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees (R-East Longmeadow) and former state Sen. Andrea Nuciforo (D-Pittsfield) also applied for clinic licenses in Western Massachusetts.

"We want to do this with the highest standards possible so we can establish a gold standard, if you will, across the state of Massachusetts," said Delahunt, according to the Quincy Patriot-Ledger.

The finalists will be announced on Jan. 31.



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