On July 24, the Cannabis Control Commission released drafts of revised Adult-Use, Medical-Use, and Colocated Adult-Use and Medical-Use Marijuana Operations Regulations (935 CMR 500.000, 935 CMR 501.00, and 935 CMR 502.000, respectively).

A virtual public hearing was held on Aug. 3, and public comments and testimony were due by Aug. 15.

The MMA submitted comments on Aug. 13 expressing concerns about some of the proposed changes.

The revisions would change the way buffer zones are measured in the Adult-Use regulations (935 CMR 500.110(3)). Currently, the 500-foot buffer zone is drawn in a straight line from the nearest point of the property line of a preexisting public or private school (educating children in any grades from kindergarten through 12) to the nearest point of the property line of the marijuana establishment. In the revised version, the CCC is proposing to measure the 500-foot buffer zone from the nearest entrance of any preexisting public or private school to the nearest point of the proprietary line of the marijuana establishment. In some cases, this could lead to significant discrepancies.

“Many communities have incorporated buffer zone language into local bylaws or ordinances, which would require a 2/3rds vote of the town or city’s legislative body to change,” the MMA stated in its letter to the CCC. “Municipalities which have welcomed recreational marijuana by changing their bylaws and ordinances to incorporate marijuana establishments into their existing zoning framework would be faced with an additional hurdle if they need to amend their existing language, potentially causing delays in siting new marijuana establishments. (Town Meetings convene just once or twice a year, for example.)”

The MMA also expressed concerns about the proposed expansion of the hardship cultivation registration in the draft medical-use regulations (935 CMR 501.020(7)) to allow for up to 500 square feet of grow space.

“In particular, we are concerned about the lack of local touch points in the form of building code checks associated with this large of a grow area, especially regarding compliance with fire and safety codes,” the MMA wrote.

A final vote on the pending revised regulations is anticipated on Sept. 24.

Written by