The Cannabis Control Commission yesterday released Guidance on Municipal Equity & Industry Participation as well as a draft Model Municipal Equity Bylaw or Ordinance Template.

The CCC is accepting public comment on the draft template through April 25.

The comprehensive cannabis law enacted two years ago (Ch. 180 of the Acts of 2022) requires the CCC to develop policies and procedures to ensure that those who have been disproportionately harmed by the enforcement of marijuana laws are guaranteed fair and equitable access to the industry and to promote their full participation. This work includes advisory guidelines, best practices and minimum acceptable policy standards.

Municipalities that host cannabis retailers, whether recreational or medical, will need to take one of three recommended actions in order to comply with the new standards. They can adopt the Model Municipal Equity Bylaw or Ordinance, adopt their own bylaw or ordinance to exclusively permit social equity businesses for a period of three years, or create a local approval process for equity applicants on a 1:1 basis — approving other applicants only after a social equity business has commenced operations and until 50% of licensees operating in the municipality are social equity businesses.

Responses to the draft should be emailed to with a subject line of “Public Comment: Model Municipal Equity Bylaw or Ordinance” by 5 p.m. on April 25.