Recreational sellers will likely face both DPH, CCC oversight
By Colin A. Young
State House News Service
BOSTON — The Cannabis Control Commission does not expect to assume oversight of the state’s medical marijuana program before legal recreational sales begin this summer, raising the possibility that two state agencies will have duplicative oversight when the first pot stores open.
Registered marijuana dispensaries (RMDs) already selling marijuana to medical patients are expected to be the first outlets to sell marijuana for adult use when sales begin this July because they are already growing the product and have been vetted by the state. Recreational sales will be overseen by the CCC, but the Department of Public Health is still in charge of all medical sales — meaning that some of an RMDs business will be subject to the rules of DPH and some will be subject to the rules of the CCC.
“I think it will create some logistical challenges but I think we’re up to it,” CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said Tuesday when asked if having two layers of oversight would be problematic as the legal marijuana industry launches. “We have a very good working relationship with DPH and to the extent that there are overlaps or issues of logistics, we’ll work them out with DPH.”
A DPH spokesperson did not directly answer when asked if having the CCC and DPH overseeing RMDs would be problematic, but the agency noted that the RMDs would be viewed as two separate entities governed by two separate sets of regulations and noted that other industries are regulated by multiple entities.
The medical marijuana program has been run by DPH since voters approved it in 2012, but lawmakers last summer rewrote the state’s marijuana laws and required that the CCC assume control of the medical program by the end of 2018.