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The Cannabis Control Commission on Sept. 24 approved new regulations that allow for home delivery of marijuana products and “social consumption” – licensed establishments where adults may use marijuana together.
The commission said it will be months or more until either activity gets underway in Massachusetts.
The new regulations will be officially published by the Secretary of State’s office, but CCC Chair Steve Hoffman said it will take some time for the commission to develop an application for delivery licenses and to begin approving those licenses.
The new regulations authorize a pilot program for on-site consumption, but Hoffman said state lawmakers have to act before it can launch. Legislation is pending before the Committee on Cannabis Policy.
After hearing more than 75 commenters over two public hearings and going through nearly 200 written comments, the commission met on Sept. 12 with plans to vote on a third rewrite of new regulations, but decided to delay its vote until commissioners had time to review some revised concepts discussed during the meeting.
One concept that was changed from the draft, and discussed at length, was related to the geographic limitations of home delivery. In the draft regulations, deliveries were limited to where the delivery-only establishment had its place of business or any municipality that has not banned retail sales of marijuana or marijuana products. It appeared, however, that the commission would like to expand this to allow communities that have banned retail sales to be able to opt in to allow for home delivery to their residents.
Another change discussed was to allow a pilot delivery program for microbusinesses and craft cooperatives. Originally, the delivery-only license was to be limited to licensees delivering from a brick-and-mortar shop directly to a consumer. Commissioner Britte McBride suggested that social equity or economic empowerment applicants who run a microbusiness or craft cooperative should have the option of delivering their products directly to consumers, should an endorsement be granted by the commission. This would allow for a “scalable” approach to home delivery, she said.
This will not be the end of regulatory changes made by the commission, which plans to take up more items through the public comment and hearing process in January 2020. Commissioners hinted that the next round of changes could involve buffer zones and clarifications to marketing, among others items.