Do you want legal, tested marijuana delivered to your door, without worrying that the police will show up next? Soon, that will be a reality in Massachusetts.
The Cannabis Control Commission on Tuesday voted to approve regulations that will allow marijuana home delivery services to operate legally within the state. The rules will also allow for marijuana cafes, where people can go with friends to eat, smoke or vape marijuana legally.
“We feel like we have got a good balance between trying to meet the will of the voters but recognizing that there are concerns from a public health and a public safety standpoint,” said Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman.
The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan the only dissenting vote.
Flanagan said she thinks it is too early to allow social consumption and home delivery. “I think we need to stand up this industry, making sure the retail and cultivation and microbusinesses all get priority before we start to do home delivery and social consumption,” she said.
Flangan said she worries about public health. She noted that Massachusetts has a crisis of opioid addiction, and is now dealing with an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses. “We talk about social consumption, we’re looking for places for people to go and consume this product, mostly by smoking or vaping,” Flanagan said. “I have concerns about that.”
Both new types of licenses will be reserved for the first two years for social equity and economic empowerment applicants, which are categories of businesses owned by minorities, people with drug convictions and people who have lived and worked in communities disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition.
Hoffman said home delivery licenses could potentially start being considered within “a couple of months,” after the commission develops and posts its application. But he noted that entrepreneurs will still have to negotiate agreements with host communities before they reach the state licensing process, as is the case with current retailers and growers. The commission has no control over how long that part of the process takes.
Although there is a long pending queue of applicants for retail stores and grow facilities, home delivery companies could jump to the front of the line in getting their applications processed if they fit into certain priority categories, like economic empowerment applicants.
Social consumption – which will start with a pilot program in up to a dozen municipalities that choose to participate – is expected to take longer to get off the ground. It appears that a legislative fix is needed to approve a process by which communities can adopt rules allowing social consumption, and it will be up to the Legislature whether to pass that fix. Once that happens, the commission could establish the pilot program.
The new businesses will be subject to the same types of rules as other marijuana businesses regarding things like employee background checks and avoiding diversion to people under age 21.
Applying for a social consumption or home delivery license will cost $1,500, with a $10,000 annual renewal fee, though fees are waived or reduced for economic empowerment and social equity applicants. Continue Reading Masslive