Cannabis Control Commission: Fall 2018 Update

With July 1st now fully in the rear-view mirror, we thought it would be a good time to update you on the latest developments at the Cannabis Control Commission.  Earlier this month, the Commission approved two final retail licences for businesses in Northampton and Leicester.  These represent the very first final adult-use retail licenses awarded in the Commonwealth.  With this, Massachusetts residents should expect adult-use retail shops to open to the public within a matter of weeks.  Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman has confirmed as much, stating: “I think its weeks away” when asked for his opinion on the timeframe.  Relatedly, the Commission has indicated that they expect to award additional final licenses to independent testing laboratories during the next few weeks, and has very recently awarded two final licenses to labs in Salem and Framingham.

The Commission has been debating the merits of a social consumption program in the Commonwealth during the course of the past month.  This program would allow consumers to patronize a public establishment for the purposes of consuming and sharing cannabis.  This would be a relatively novel program, as no other domestic state or municipality currently has social consumption licensing procedures.  At the Commission’s most recent public meeting on the 18th, a list of questions and topics relevant to the issue of social consumption programs was generated by Commission staff, and the Commission pledged to address these issues by early next year.

Finally, the Commission has also recently discussed options for cannabis delivery services, another potentially innovative program relative to programs in other states that have liberalized cannabis laws.  Although a delivery-service program is only at the very early stages of design and discussion, there are some interesting ides being floated, such as allowing micro-businesses to deliver products at the outset as a test run or aligning delivery services to more traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores.  Regardless of the outcome, we’ll continue to monitor the workings of the Commission on this and a host of other issues while updating you with the key developments.

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