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Boston Holds Public Hearing On Pot Dispensaries

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Boston city councilors held a public hearing to discuss the possibility of medical marijuana dispensaries setting up shop in the state’s largest city.

During Tuesday’s hearing, city councilors debated the merits of two Boston locations – one on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, the other on Southampton Street in Roxbury.

Police worry about security – the pot falling into the wrong hands.

Some say the state approval process should be started over, and at least one councilor criticized state officials for not showing up at the hearing.

“I’m extremely disappointed that they did not show up for whatever reason. Maybe under their desks, maybe didn’t get out of bed. It’s completely inappropriate given the role that they play in this discussion,” Councilor Michael Flaherty said.

He supports dispensing medical marijuana in pharmacies. Another member wonders why one proposed Boston center would be in a section of Roxbury, which also features a Methadone clinic and a high risk biomedical research lab.

One City councilor even suggested putting a marijuana growing facility on the top of the Prudential Center. The remark was made in jest, but it’s a symbol of how challenging this process might be.

The hearing comes a day after Gov. Deval Patrick said there was no need for the state to restart the selection process for the dispensaries despite reports that some applicants may have provided false or misleading information.

Patrick said none of the 20 applicants approved by the Department of Public Health so far has been granted an operating license. He noted that applicants must verify all the information they have given the state before any licenses are awarded.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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