Boston's 1st medical marijuana facility opens

BOSTON — Boston's first medical marijuana shop opened for business Wednesday.

When doors opened at 1 p.m., about a dozen patients were lined up outside 21 Milk St. Richard Pasquale was one of those people in line and  said he has lived with chronic pain for years, taking Oxycodone and Fentanyl patches every few hours. When his doctor prescribed him a medical marijuana card, he said he became more clear-headed.

"People don't want a pot dispensary next to their house, but they wouldn't mind having a pharmacy next to their house. That's what it is to me- a pharmacy," he said.

As seen Wednesday on FOX25 Morning News, FOX25 was given an early look inside the store before the opening.

The dispensary, which is near Downtown Crossing, used to be bank. Columbia Care, the owner, decided on the specific location because it's near several MBTA stations.

Mayor Marty Walsh told FOX25 that the dispensary had good communication with the city before opening.

"They worked really hard with the community. There [were] a lot of changes made," Mayor Walsh said. "Originally, it was going to be a store-front property, and they worked with us to move into the building. It's how the process should work and it worked out well," he said.

Walsh has come out against the legalization of recreational marijuana. However, Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, along with City Councilor Michelle Wu, announced Wednesday they're in favor of Ballot Question 4, which asks voters if they would like to legalize marijuana.

"Marijuana- I don't believe is a gateway drug. Percocet is a gateway drug- I believe, and there is a CVS down the street where you can go get it," said Jackson.

Jackson said Boston's community and economy has suffered due to current laws and penalties around marijuana.

"When blacks and Latinos are disproportionaly incarcerated, it makes it harder for them to get jobs and it increase unemployment in our community," he said.

While the issue remains divisive, those who rely on medical marijuana said they are thankful the option is available.