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Massachusetts' 9th Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in Newton

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A dried marijuana flower on display at the Garden Remedies medical dispensary in Newton
Craig LeMoult/WGBH
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The state’s ninth medical marijuana dispensary opened today in Newton.  The opening comes a week after voters legalized recreational marijuana.

“They’ll be buzzed through this door,” said Karen Munkacy as she began a tour of the brand-new dispensary her company Garden Remedies is opening in Newton. “We will have five patient advocates here,” she said as she pointed to five stations similar to what bank tellers might be at.

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Karen Munkacy cuts the ribbon at the new Garden Remedies medical marijuana dispensary in Newton

It’s been four years since Massachusetts voters approved medical pot, and this is just the ninth dispensary to open. 55 others are well into the approval process.

Munkacy says she doesn’t think recreational pot, which will be heavily taxed, will cut into her business. She points to what’s happened in Colorado. “Medical patients have remained medical patients," she said, "because it’s less expensive to buy medicine as a patient. And also it can be a different type of substance sometimes.”

She says, for example, some of the pot they sell has medicinal properties but doesn’t get users high. Medical dispensaries will now get a year head-start on opening recreational stores, but Munkacy won’t say if she’s planning on expanding in that direction. 

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