5 Big Takeaways from the New Recreational Cannabis Regulations
Many said it couldn't be done. Many said delays were inevitable. Despite the naysayers, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has approved the adult-use cannabis regulations one-week ahead of their March 15th deadline.
If you're interested in reading the regulations, you can easily download all 102 pages of them: Approved Cannabis Regulations.
Want the Cliff's Notes? Well, generally, we'd say the regulations implement recreational cannabis in a positive way. Here are our 5 big takeaways worth highlighting:
#1 - Medical Patients Ensured Supply
Regulations require registered marijuana dispensaries (RMD) to maintain an adequate supply of marijuana for patients.
#2 - Priority Status Given to "Equity Applicants"
The State will prioritize license applications from communities and areas disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest, conviction, and incarceration related to marijuana crimes
#3 - Barriers to Entry Lowered
Flexible licensing and fee structure that promotes the inclusion of small and large-scale business ventures and allows growth; cultivation is capped at 100,000 square feet per licensee
#4 - Application Date Confirmed
The State will begin accepting license applications on April 1, 2018
#5 - License Issuance Date Confirmed
The first licenses may be issued as early as June 1, 2018
As you can see, for the most part, these are very positive steps towards achieving a functional cannabis industry in Massachusetts. However, there are some things to consider, so if you have the time, check out:
One big issue that we need to keep an eye on are Community Host Agreements. Here's an excerpt from how the Marijuana Policy Project is considering the issue:
"Every [cannabis] business is required to have a community host agreement with the town in which they operate as a part of the license application process. Under this agreement, the business would be required to pay a fee for services provided to the business; without this agreement, no license may be obtained. If a town decides to deny an applicant’s request to enter such an agreement, the regulations provide no avenue of appeal to the business, so a town council could decide not to enter into a community host agreement with any applying businesses, effectively resulting in a ban on [cannabis] businesses in that municipality. The CCC should reconsider this provision of the regulations because it allows town councils to sidestep the will of the voters by enacting a de facto ban through denial of community host agreements. Gov. Baker has recently put forward legislation that also negatively impacts the community host agreement structure. We are closely examining this legislation and will take action as necessary to ensure that Question 4 is adequately implemented." -- Zach Mauldin, Legislative Analyst, Marijuana Policy Project
What does this mean for Cape Cod?
It means we need to accelerate our efforts to ensure there is an industry hub for our region. If you're a stakeholder interested in bringing a smart and safe cannabis industry to our region PLEASE REACH OUT and let's see if we can work together.