Cannabis Control Commission Continues 2020 Regulatory Review Discussions

WORCESTER — The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) convened Friday, August 28 to continue discussions on proposed changes to the medical- and adult-use cannabis regulations in Massachusetts.

Today’s policy discussion and votes were preceded by a policy discussion on June 19, policy vote on July 20, public hearing on August 3, a public comment period between July 24 and August 14, and a joint Commission and Cannabis Advisory Board meeting on August 17. Regulatory amendments, currently being drafted and under review, will be presented to the Commission at a public meeting this fall for a final vote and subsequently filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth for promulgation.

For additional context regarding the draft regulations and policy discussion summarized below, videos of the 2020 regulatory review are available on the Commission’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Public meeting materials are also available at MassCannabisControl.Com/Documents.

Today, the Commission discussed potential modifications, including:

Definitions

  • Removing the definition of Citizen Review Committee (CRC) from 935 CMR 500 and evaluate if and how to reconstitute the committee or serve its purpose outside of the regulatory process
  • Clarifying definition of “Clone, Vegetative Plant, Immature Plant, Flowering Plant, and Mature Plant” to bring consistency between the regulations and the Guidance on Seed-to-Sale Tracking
  • Revising the types of structures that are defined by the term “Impassible Barrier” for the purposes of determining the 500-foot buffer zone
  • Modifying the definition of “School Entrance” to clarify what a school is and the time at which the distance would be measured
  • Defining “Marijuana Establishment Entrance” and “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Entrance” for the purposes of determining the 500-foot buffer zone
  • Modifying the definition of “Qualifying Patient” to allow for the registration of out-of-state residents to register as patients if they are receiving end-of-life, palliative care or cancer treatment in the Commonwealth

Delivery

  • Strengthening the viability of the Delivery License type with the ability to purchase wholesale Marijuana and Marijuana Products with requirements to warehouse, while leaving intact a courier-only model that allows for lower barriers of entry into the market
  • Allowing all Retail and Delivery License types to sell branded goods
  • Permitting Delivery Licensees engaging in wholesale to repackage Marijuana and Marijuana Products

Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants and Social Equity Program Participants

  • Clarifying that individuals who are Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants (EEA), whether on their own or as part of a business entity, can apply as part of a new entity with EEA status so long as it continues to meet three or more of the six criteria, at least one of which shall be a majority- equity-ownership criterion
  • Extending the initial 24-month Exclusivity Period for Delivery and Social Consumption license types to 36-months to ensure there is appropriate time to gather data and assess whether the goals of the Exclusivity Period have been met, retaining the option to extend the period further pursuant to Commission vote

Disability Access and Accommodations

  • Requiring that MTC agents receive training for working with disabled populations as part of the Responsible Vendor Training program
  • Requiring MEs and MTCs to provide an agent employee handbook that addresses disability accommodations

Product Database

  • Adopting a requirement that MTCs comply with the Product Database requirement, just as adult-use licensees must, to ensure that the public is knowledgeable of the hallmarks of legally sourced products, preventing underage access, and lowering the risk of purchasing illicit products

Caregivers

  • Enhancing Patient access by allowing Caregivers to care for up to five Patients with a Canopy not in excess of 500 square feet
  • Clarifying that Caregivers may seek a waiver to care for more than five Patients but cannot exceed the 500 square foot limitation
  • Preventing perceived risk of diversion by requiring Caregivers to create a log-of-growing and make that log available to the Commission upon request
  • Restricting Caregivers from participating in paid advertising

Medical Hardship Cultivation

  • Preserving public safety by requiring Patients and Personal Caregivers engaged in Hardship Cultivation to comply with applicable municipal or state requirements for electrical usage and fire safety

For more information about regulatory review process or draft changes discussed Friday, visit MassCannabisControl.Com, contact the Commission by phone (774-415-0200) or email Commission@CCCMass.Com, or follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.

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