David Torrisi, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, joins us to discuss medical operators and adult use operators in the state of Massachusetts. Torrisi tells us about changes and progress that have taken place in Massachusetts over the past several years: “People thought the sky was going to fall, and there’s still some people that think cannabis is like, ‘Oh my God, the devil is here.’ In five years, I don’t think anyone’s going to care as much as they care right now about this.” Torrisi also talks about the Massachusetts vaping ban in depth and emphasizes the importance of regulation in order to deliver safe products to the public.
Seth Adler: David Torrisi joins us. Welcome to Cannabis Economy. I'm your host, Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com. That's two N's in the word "economy" or wherever you currently get your podcasts. First word from our supporter and then David Torrisi.
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David Torrisi: David Torrisi, the executive director of The Commonwealth Dispensary Association.
Seth Adler: The Commonwealth Dispensary Association being?
David Torrisi: Commonwealth Dispensary Association is the trade association for medical operators and adult use operators in the state. We have 30 members that representative of 45 distinct locations, and probably that's what 85% of the operators in Massachusetts right now.
Seth Adler: 85% of the operators. Pretty much, that's a good sample size.
David Torrisi: Yeah, I would say so.
Seth Adler: Let's say that. Why did you separate medical and adult use? Is it because you're used to saying medical and now you had to add adult use because of the past 10 months?
David Torrisi: Well, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association was formed about four years ago when it was just vertical integrated medical operators I then state. I became the Executive Director a couple of years ago and obviously since the advent of adult use sales, we had to go back, change our bylaws, and allow a vertically integrated adult use as well. Now, starting in January, we're going to allow standalone retailers, standalone cultivators, anyone who has the license from the CCC could join the CDA now.
Seth Adler: Okay. That is a good grounding for this, however, there is one more piece, which is helpful, and that's your background.
David Torrisi: Okay. My background, I'm a former state legislator. I served for 14 years representing the city of Lawrence and the town of North Andover. I am a lawyer by trade. I'm also actually currently on the North Andover school committee, so I'm still active in politics. I was a lobbyist. My first client ever was actually an alternative therapies group up in Salem. They had hired me to help with their local permitting in HCAs and community reach.
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