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The MMA is encouraging municipal officials to weigh in on draft regulations approved by the Cannabis Control Commission on July 28 regarding host community agreements and social equity.
The CCC has filed the draft adult-use regulations with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to begin the formal administrative process. A public comment period is open through Sept. 8 at 5 p.m., and a hybrid public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 beginning at 10 a.m. Comments may be sent to Commission@CCCMass.com.
The 83-page draft regulations can be downloaded as a PDF. The most relevant sections for municipalities are Section 500.170, Section 500.180, and Section 500.181.
The CCC’s draft regulations would broaden its authority over host community agreements and apply retroactively to existing host community agreements. Constitutional tenets protect existing contracts from statutory encroachment, and the MMA argues that the draft regulations would invite substantial litigation.
The MMA is continuing to advocate strongly for the final regulations taking a two-tiered approach — allowing existing host community agreements to continue as is until their expiration, while applying any new regulations to agreements executed after the final regulations are in place.
Following commission meetings to discuss and approve the regulations in September, the final versions will be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office no later than Oct. 13, according to the CCC, with the aim of promulgation by Nov. 9.
A comprehensive cannabis law enacted last August, Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022, gives the CCC until Nov. 9 to finalize and promulgate the new rules.
In-person participation in the Sept. 8 hearing will be available at the CCC’s headquarters at Union Station, 2 Washington Square, in Worcester, and virtual attendees may view the hearing using Microsoft Teams Live. Participants are asked to sign up in advance.
On Aug. 7, the MMA hosted a webinar led by KP Law senior attorney Nicole Costanzo to discuss how the draft regulations are likely to affect existing host community agreements, as well as strategies for municipalities to navigate the changing environment.
[Note: This story was amended on Aug. 22 to include a direct link to the draft regulation, updated information about the public comment period, and details about the Sept. 8 hearing.]