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Boston's first medical marijuana dispensary approved

The first medical marijuana dispensary of Boston was approved by state health officials on Friday. The officials selected Patriot Care Corp to operate a facility near Downtown Crossing.

The company was already provisionally approved to open a dispensary in Lowell and on Friday the officials permitted the company for a location in Greenfield. The company has now become the only firm which is now in a position to run three dispensaries in Massachusetts.

The state officials added that another company will be allowed by the government to open dispensaries in Brookline and Northampton.

The plans of New England Treatment Access were put on hold by the government in August after it was reported that its chief executive made false claim of being a college graduate on the firm' applications to the state.

On Friday, Karen van Unen, chief executive of the state's medical marijuana program, said in a news release, "I am pleased with the steady progress we are making and expect the first dispensaries to open later this winter."

Coastal Compassion in Fairhaven and MassMedicum in Taunton have also received permission from state health regulators to move forward with medical marijuana dispensaries.

The state officials are yet to select any dispensaries for the counties of Hampden, Berkshire, Dukes, and Nantucket. "We are concerned about underserved counties," van Unen said.

Patriot Care spokesman Dennis Kunian said the company is yet to decide a timeline on when it might be open for business in Boston. "We have a lot of work to do and we are very excited," Kunian said. "We want to do the city proud."