Julie Jacobson (pictured here, left, at a Local Government Advisory Commission meeting in June 2018) is the MMA’s designee on the Cannabis Advisory Board. She raised a number of issues and made recommendations from the municipal perspective. While she voted to allow for social consumption establishments, she emphasized that they should only be allowed in communities that have opted in.

The Cannabis Advisory Board voted on Feb. 26 to recommend that the Cannabis Control Commission support “social consumption” licenses for adult-use marijuana products in Massachusetts so consumers have places to legally consume cannabis products outside of their homes.

At its Feb. 26 meeting, the advisory board discussed and voted on more than 40 different recommendations on the topic of social consumption and temporary event licenses.

Using the draft social consumption regulations developed in December 2017 as a starting point, the board discussed a number of issues that members thought should be captured in future regulations, including the need to define a serving size, packaging and labeling requirements, menus, availability of a take-out option, server training, and state and local compliance checks.

The board also recommended that the CCC develop regulations for events where marijuana from licensed establishments can be sold to consumers over 21 years of age, and an application process for a marijuana event operator license. Board members agreed that the application process should include any necessary local permits and licenses required to hold an event in the municipality.

In support of the CCC’s mandate to ensure that communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana law enforcement are included in the new legal marijuana industry, the board recommended that the CCC should launch social consumption as a pilot program for equity participants, economic empowerment applicants and microbusinesses. Additionally, the board recommended that municipalities give strong consideration to temporary event license applications from economic empowerment or social equity establishments, co-ops, microbusinesses, women, minorities, veterans, and all individuals or groups under the CCC’s equity mandate.

The Cannabis Advisory Board includes municipal officials, law enforcement officials, activists, marijuana business owners, and public health representatives.

The CCC held two listening sessions during the week of March 11, marking the beginning stages of a coming revision of adult-use and medical marijuana regulations. The process, according to CCC Chair Steven Hoffman, will include a formal public comment period and more public hearings, with a final vote on regulations in June.

Written by