Saturday, July 20, 2024


Cambridge’s only medical marijuana dispensary applicant, The Greeneway Wellness Foundation, was rejected Friday for licensing by the state Department of Public Health, along with eight other applicants – about half of the total 20 applying.

The reason: inadequate financial capital, according to John Greene, founder and CEO of Greeneway, who said Saturday he would be appealing the decision.

His statement:

Due to the intended use of the Foundation’s funds, many banking institutions have refused to maintain a relationship with The Greeneway Wellness Foundation, noting the concern of violating banking statutes by accepting money from activities considered illegal under federal statute. As such, we have entered into custodial arrangements in accordance with the Department of Public Health’s regulations, and have had the required amount available to our foundation for the entirety of process. We have upheld a standard of transparency with the Department to ensure that they are aware of our custodial relationships, and have voluntarily submitted the bank statements of the custodial accounts to demonstrate our financial viability.

We are confident that our application was submitted in complete compliance with the regulations set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and we will be vigorously pursuing remedies that will allow us to proceed with the siting of our Cambridge location to provide patients in Middlesex County with the highest quality of patient-centered palliative treatments.

It’s been more than 19 months since Cambridge voters went for medical marijuana dispensaries in a big way – 73 percent in favor and 19 percent against – in a general election ballot question allowing up to 35 of them statewide. The closest dispensary outside of Cambridge could be two in Boston and one in Brookline, although two Boston dispensaries were also rejected Friday along with Greeneway.

The state says Greeneway was required to document that it has $1.3 million “in its control and available” for its three applications, including the one in Cambridge. But the state saw that the documented money deposited in November was withdrawn the next day and returned to three investors – a word put in quotation marks in a letter from Karen van Unen, executive director of the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

“The information provided by Greeneway in its applications regarding its purported capital was misleading to the department, and, as a result, the Department has determined Greeneway to be not responsible or suitable to maintain a [dispensary],” van Unen wrote.

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