Cannabis Control Commission Commences First Day of Policy Discussions on Draft Regulations

Policies discussion informed by nearly 500 public comments provided to the Commission as part of the regulation writing process

For Immediate Release

Contact: CNB Press Office

857-268-6454 /CNBPRESS@STATE.MA.US

February 26, 2018

Boston, MA – Today, the Cannabis Control Commission commenced the first of three days of policy discussions that will amend 935 CMR 500.00, the draft regulations for licensing and implementation of the adult use cannabis industry in Massachusetts.

The decisions made today will be incorporated into a working document that will be subject to a final vote of the Commission, expected to occur next week, before formally promulgating the final regulations prior to the statutory deadline of March 15, 2018.

Draft regulation policy changes or additions determined today:


  • Canopy – Agreed to define canopy as California does: canopy means the designated area or areas at a licensed premises, except nurseries, that will contain mature plants at any point in time. Canopy shall be calculated in square feet and measured using clearly identifiable boundaries of all area(s) that will contain mature plants at any point in time, including all of the space(s) within the boundaries. Canopy may be noncontiguous but each unique area included in the total canopy calculation shall be separated by an identifiable boundary, which includes, but are not limited to, interior walls, shelves, greenhouse walls, hoop house walls, garden benches, hedgerows, fencing, garden beds or garden plots, and if mature plants are being cultivated within a shelving system, the surface area of each level shall be included in the total canopy calculation.
  • Marijuana or cannabis products – Agreed to clarify that marijuana and cannabis products will not be treated as food (similar to the medical use of marijuana program).


  • Agreed microbusinesses will be allowed to either cultivate up to 5,000 square feet of canopy, or purchase up to 2,000 pounds per year, and manufacture.


  • Agreed to eliminate references to delivery and social consumption, except to explicitly prohibit them in the regulations; agreed to exclusivity for social equity applicants and farmers for social consumption for an unspecified period of time, as well as exclusivity for equity applicants, craft cooperatives, and microbusinesses for delivery for an unspecified period of time, pending research and legal review.
  • Agreed to discuss an action plan within two weeks that will address concerns of the Commission relative to these categories of license, with a deadline of October 31, 2018 to collect information and within four months of that date, adopt regulations.

Research Facilities:

  • Agreed that holders of research licenses will not be eligible to hold a retail license.

Fees / Fines:

  • Agreed to waive the monthly service fee of the seed to sale tracking technology for craft cooperatives, ​social equity applicants and microbusinesses.

Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants:

  • Agreed to add a sixth criterion for Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants: that a majority of the ownership is made up of individuals from Black/African American or Hispanic/ Latino descent; applicants must meet three out of six criteria listed in the regulations.

Management and Operations Profile / Diversity Plan:

  • Agreed to add people of all sexual orientation to the list of groups who must be included in an applicant’s diversity plan.

The Cannabis Control Commission will convene again tomorrow, Tuesday, February 27, starting at 1o a.m. in the 12th Floor public hearing space of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, located at 101 Federal Street, Boston, MA.