Meg Bantle

Cannabis regulations were finally finalized on March 6 and Massachusetts marijuana enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to in 2018. Medical marijuana patients will be protected from shortages and applicants from communities worst affected by cannabis criminalization will be prioritized for licenses. But unfortunately, the dream of Massachusetts paving the way in America with cannabis cafes and yoga studios has been put on the back burner.

“We’re definitely disappointed,” said Karima Rizk, owner of Cafe Vert in Easthampton and cannabis-cafe hopeful. “But when you’re in the cannabis industry … the regulatory landscape is always rapidly changing.”

On March 6, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) voted unanimously to approve the regulations for the adult-use cannabis industry and will be filing the regulations with the Secretary of State by the March 15 deadline. Once language from the March 6 meeting is incorporated into the final regulations (935 CMR 500.00 as they’re officially called) the debate and public comments on about 150 policies will finally come to an end.

“Today’s meeting was the culmination of months of dogged dedication to an open and collaborative process that embraced the diversity of thought, experience, and perspective of Massachusetts residents, in service of the people’s will,” said CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman in a press release.

The final version of the regulations include nine license categories: cultivator, craft marijuana cooperative, microbusiness, product manufacturer, independent testing laboratory, storefront retailer, third-party transporter, existing licensee transporter, and research facility. Absent from the list are home delivery of recreational cannabis and social consumption. Last week the CCC voted to delay home delivery and social consumption (like cannabis cafes) agreeing to issue draft regulations on those topics by February 2019.

Cafe Vert announced

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