FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 13, 2020
CONTACT: Cedric Sinclair, Director of Communications, 857-268-6454; Maryalice Curley, Press Secretary, 857-292-4891; Press@CCCMass.Com
Commission Issues Industry Bulletin on Coronavirus State of Emergency
Agency Operations Will Proceed Remotely Starting Monday
WORCESTER—The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) issued an industry bulletin relative to the Commonwealth’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) State of Emergency on Friday.
In addition to highlighting mitigating measures that licensees and certifying health care providers should use to ensure, preserve, and promote public health, the Commission is notifying the public that its physical offices will close until further notice starting Monday, March 16. The agency has invested in significant technology capabilities that enable staff to work remotely to sustain all Commission operations, including patient support, licensing, and enforcement functions, during this time.
In the Commission’s bulletin, licensees and certifying health care providers were made aware of state and federal guidance pertaining to COVID-19. Employers have been advised to encourage good hygiene, urge employees to stay home when they feel sick, and be flexible and considerate with sick leave benefits, amongst other precautions.
The Commission noted agents may handle marijuana and marijuana products during cultivation and manufacturing processes and interact with patients who may be immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable as well as adult-use customers. As a result, licensees have been asked to consider and publicize protocols that may reduce the risk of exposure, including line and queue management, mobile or order-ahead features, appointment-only operations, and increased frequency of cleaning and sterilization efforts.
Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers have been advised they may consider the promotion and geographic expansion of delivery service and to remind patients of the ability to acquire up to a 60-day medical grade marijuana supply. Pursuant to 935 CMR 501.010, certifying health care providers were reminded that patient renewal certifications may be submitted after telephonic consultation, as long as a clinical visit has occurred within the past year.
Commission staff will work remotely starting Monday to sustain Commission operations and can be reached through their usual contacts. The patient support center phone lines will remain open to callers from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Investigators and Compliance Officers will continue to work in the field wearing mandated personal protective equipment.
The agency continues to evaluate protocols with respect to inspections and other business, including public meetings. The Commission is committed to undertake every effort to ensure minimal disruption to productivity while ensuring the safety of staff and the public.
For more information, visit MassCannabisControl.Com, contact the Commission by phone (774-415-0200) or email (Commission@CCCMass.Com), or follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.