As the Massachusetts Department of Public Health continues to vet the medical marijuana dispensary licensing process, those applicants who were passed over for licensure are doing all they can to obtain approval from the Commonwealth to open up shop. And one of those, Compassionate Organics Inc., is eyeing a piece of prime real estate on Harvard Avenue in Allston – and their case is gaining momentum.
Compassionate Organics was one of several dispensaries that did not make the cut of 20 designated for licensure by MassDPH. The company made it through the first phase of the process, paying the outrageous fees and doing their best to comply with current, iffy regulations along the way, but their application was subsequently passed over for the next phase in favor others.
In fact, based on MassDPH’s scale for determining which applications would be granted licensure, Compassionate Organics scored just 85 out of 163. The scale is based on the likes of financial stability, corporate background and business management experience.
Already the company has garnered support from local neighborhood organizations, most recently the Allston Civic Association, and has run with many of the various groups’ suggestions and recommendations for doing what’s best for the area and its residents.
BostInno got in touch with Eric Dellovo, an official at Compassionate Organics, to find out how they’re trying to turn some heads over at MassDPH and set up shop in the heart of Allston.
“The community groups have provided us with excellent feedback along the way, which has truly helped us improve our operations and create an experience that’s most beneficial to the community,” Dellovo told BostInno in an email. “Additionally, we’ve appeared at the Brighton-Allston Improvement Association, Allston-Brighton Substance Abuse Task Force and Allston Main Streets, and continue to develop relationships with elected officials.”
One of those suggestions was splitting the proposed location for Compassionate Organics, 144 Harvard Ave, almost in half. Of the 5,000 square-feet space, 2,000 will go towards the prospective dispensary because they, along with another community group “feel smaller storefront will be more respectful to the street and community as a whole.”
They’ve also gained backing from neighboring businesses in the form of a non-opposition petition.
But where Compassionate Organics feel short as far as MassDPH was concerned was in the the location and physical structure, and well as operations and programmatic response requirements categories.
The renderings above in tandem with a 2,000 square-foot facility instead of the full 5,000 may boost their application score for the former category – a 35 out of 65 – but the budding RMD’s score was heavily dragged down by the latter. There, Compassionate Organics only managed a 20 out of 57. What they did to earn such a poor showing and what they’re doing to improve that standard is unclear at the moment, as Dellovo was unavailable to comment on that specific matter.
A spokesperson from the ACA was also unavailable to comment.
But whatever steps the company ends up taking, they’re surely doing their best to live up to the expectations of the MassDPH, even if the licensing process has been widely criticized by area officials and rejected applicants.
Added Dellovo, “We continue to put forth our best application, continuously improving operations and strengthening our core team in order to best serve the patients of Massachusetts.”
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