Recreational Weed – What to Expect
The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) beat its March 15 deadline to file its final regulations for Massachusetts’ marijuana market and will begin accepting marijuana business applications on April 2. It will issue its first provisionary licenses on June 1, and recreational adult-use marijuana establishments could open starting July 1.
The CCC vote was unanimous, which arrived after a six-month process that included 10 listening sessions, nearly 500 public comments, and seven public hearings to deliberate on approximately 150 policies, according to the CCC.
So what does this mean for the Tri-Town with its three towns included in the Commonwealth’s 189 municipalities that either placed a moratorium or all-out ban on pot establishments?
The final regulations, totaling 202 pages in length, include nine types of license categories: cultivator; craft marijuana cooperative; microbusiness; product manufacturer; independent testing lab; storefront retailer; third-party transporter; existing licensee transporter; and research facility.
With tremendous pressure from Governor Charlie Baker to “go slow” when it comes to issuing “social consumption” establishments, the CCC decided to hold off until February 2019 regulations that would allow so-called marijuana cafés or social-use establishments, where marijuana could be consumed on the premises, and any other “mixed-use” establishments. That means no ‘stoned yoga’ businesses or corner ‘Coffee and Cannabis’ just yet.
The Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) was another group that urged the CCC to hold off issuing these types of on-site consumption licenses and “to proceed slowly with regulations and to focus initially on establishing the nascent industry before expanding categories for sale, delivery, and consumption,” states the MMA in a March 7 press release. Concerns included a possible increase in driving under the influence of marijuana, for which there is no effective means for law enforcement to determine.
The MMA supported a strong municipal role in the marijuana licensing process. It