Massachusetts health officials Friday eliminated nearly half the applicants for medical marijuana dispensaries, leaving just one in western Massachusetts.
Only 11 of the twenty applicants given initial approval by state regulators back in January will be allowed to set up operations. The other nine were eliminated as a result of expanded background checks. Among the facilities that did not pass further reviews were three headed by former Massachusetts Congressman William Delahunt, and one in Holyoke chaired by former State Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees. The licensing process has been mired in controversy including lawsuits from loosing applicants. The only medical marijuana facility awarded a provisional certificate in western Massachusetts is in Northampton.