Governor Baker’s “Essential Services” Order Excluding Adult Use Faces Justified Backlash

Last week, Governor Baker issued a COVID-19 Essential Services Order establishing which businesses in the Commonwealth may remain open as “essential” while most of our commerce, unfortunately but necessarily, shuts down in order to slow the deadly Coranavirus pandemic.  Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Liquor Stores made the cut.  Adult use cannabis did not.

Following suit, the Cannabis Control Commission issued a Summary Cease and Desist Order that (1) allows medical marijuana activity to continue unabated (separately,… More

Massachusetts CCC Leverages Waiver Program to Permit Telehealth Consultations for New Patients

The Cannabis Control Commission announced on March 20, 2020, that healthcare providers registered with the CCC to prescribe medical marijuana will have the option to issue prescriptions to new patients following a telehealth consultation.  This new guidance is a departure from the CCC’s regulations, which require patients to be physically present for a clinical visit in order to receive a prescription.  See 935 CMR 501.0101(7). … More

Cannabis Retailers and Regulators Adapt for COVID-19 Restrictions

The global outbreak of COVID-19 is disrupting lives and businesses across the world, and the cannabis industry and its customers are no exception.  Our new reality is not only of great financial concern, but also presents serious public health challenges.  Cannabis patients, of course, need to maintain access to essential medicine.

While many states have rightly concluded that medical marijuana dispensaries are an “essential service” that may remain open during shutdowns in the same manner as pharmacies,… More

UFCW is Organizing Cannabis Workers: Labor and Operators Each Have Aces Up Their Sleeve

The Boston Globe has a well-reported story out this morning on the United Food and Commercial Workers’ unionization campaign at iAnthus-owned Mayflower Medicinals’ grow facility in Massachusetts.  It’s no secret to operators in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, California and other “labor friendly” states that trade unions – UFCW in particular – are running aggressive campaigns throughout the cannabis industry.

It’s a delicate dance: cannabis employers,… More

Rhode Island Governor Proposes Recreational Cannabis with State-Owned Dispensaries

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s fiscal year 2021 budget includes over $20 million in revenue that the Governor expects to be generated by legalizing cannabis for recreational use.  While the Governor’s support for legalization is welcomed news for the industry, there is a twist: dispensaries would be owned by the state and run by private operators, much like how states such as New Hampshire structure the sale of liquor.

The proposal calls for retail revenues to be split between the state (61%),… More

State House Amends and Passes Bill on Host Community Agreements

On Tuesday, I blogged about H 4367, a bill that would amend the statutory language that defines permissible scope of community impact fees in Host Community Agreements (“HCAs”) and would grant to Cannabis Control Commission authority to regulate HCA.  Soon after I posted the blog, the House passed the bill with two substantive amendments.

The first amendment, offered by Representative Kane, clarifies that while the 3% community impact fee is the only fee a locality can collect in an HCA,… More

State House to Consider Bill Amending Language on Host Community Agreements

A bill that would amend the statutory language that defines permissible scope of community impact fees in Host Community Agreements (“HCAs”) is making its way through the Massachusetts State House.  The bill, H 4367, would also give the Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”) express regulatory authority over HCAs.

The issue the bill addresses is one that has created considerable uncertainty and controversy.  Under Massachusetts law,… More

Court Strikes Cambridge’s Permitting Preference Ordinance

In September 2019, the City of Cambridge enacted a local ordinance that effectively created a two-year moratorium on new cannabis retailers unless the retailers were certified Economic Empowerment applicants.  The ordinance prompted a lawsuit filed by Revolution Clinics, which owns an existing medical cannabis dispensary in Cambridge, in October 2019.   Under the ordinance, Revolution Clinics would not have been allowed to obtain a local business permit to sell adult-use cannabis until September 2021. … More

France to Test Medical Cannabis for Two Years

Cannabis consumption is a complex issue and is first and foremost a health matter. While it is forbidden in France for recreational or medical use, on October 25, 2019 the French Parliament (National Assembly) gave its consent to conduct an experimentation on medical use of cannabis starting in early 2020.

The French National Agency for Safety of the Medicinal products (ANSM) had already approved the initiative in July 2019,… More

West Virginia Is Accepting Medical Cannabis Applications Through February 18, 2020

West Virginia is currently accepting applications for its growing medical cannabis program.  West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources has made available applications for dispensaries, growers, and processors on its website and will be accepting applications through February 18, 2020.

West Virginia’s medical cannabis legislation came into effect on April 19, 2017, and has been developed by Department regulations since that time that cover most significant aspects of medical cannabis operation. … More