The news of marijuana, its prohibition, and the ever-changing medical marijuana laws throughout the US landscape moves fast. When observing the chaos they call “News” one gets a sense of speed -at which the ‘new normal’ is growing, as entrepreneurs in the individual states look to crank up new revenue streams, primarily geared towards the national “green rush.”
Now that Massachusetts has officially joined the United States MMJ club (those states which allow medical marijuana), several fast thinking entrepreneurs are trying to tap that rapidly growing market, regardless of whether or not they ever touch a plant.
The grow lamps have been installed, instructional diagrams of the human body have been printed, and classes are in session.
Days after a state ballot question was approved to make medical marijuana use legal in Massachusetts, the New England Grass Roots Institute opened its doors on the second floor of an office building in Quincy Center.
The institute offers a $550, eight-week seminar on how to responsibly and legally grow and ingest medical marijuana. Also on the syllabus are $50 “Cooking with Cannabis” classes and a $110 seminar for medical professionals interested in recommending the drug to patients.
“We just want a nice, respectable class, and we just want to teach about the science and the medical end of cannabis,” said Michael Fitzgerald, owner of the institute and a medical marijuana user who teaches the seminars. “It’s been hidden for so long.”
Perhaps the first of its kind in the state, the New England Grass Roots Institute exemplifies what is expected to be a wave of commercial enterprises that will sprout up in the state when the drug begins to be legally dispensed to patients later this year.
The state’s new medical marijuana law includes no regulations or licensing requirements for schools such as Fitzgerald’s. It only regulates people who want to dispense the drug, which the Quincy institute does not do.