FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 23, 2020
CONTACT: Cedric Sinclair, Director of Communications, 857-268-6454; Maryalice Curley, Press Secretary, 857-292-4891; Press@CCCMass.Com
Massachusetts Adult-Use Marijuana Operations Ordered to Cease and Desist Starting Tuesday
Medical use of marijuana operations deemed essential services to the Commonwealth
WORCESTER—The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) is notifying licensees to cease and desist all adult-use marijuana operations in the Commonwealth pursuant to a stay-at-home advisory and emergency order issued by the Administration on Monday.
The cease and desist order will go into effect at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and last until 12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. It will apply to all Marijuana Establishments (MEs), including Marijuana Retailers, as well as Colocated Marijuana Operations which are licensed to service both the adult and medical use of marijuana programs in the state. The latter may continue to perform medical functions along with licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs). Sixty-one MTCs are currently operating in the Commonwealth.
Since the Commission assumed oversight of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program in December 2018, the agency has implemented significant policy and service upgrades to ensure registered qualifying patients in the Commonwealth have access to medical grade marijuana. As of March, there are more than 67,700 certified patients in Massachusetts.
The Commission provides guidance and step-by-step instructions for prospective patients to register for the medical use of marijuana program. As the result of the Governor’s Order Expanding Access to Telehealth Services and to Protect Health Care Providers, the Commission also has enabled Certifying Health Care Providers to apply for a waiver that allows for the certification of new patients using telehealth. Telehealth renewals are already authorized under the Commission’s medical use of marijuana regulations.
Through the use of new technology and the medical use of marijuana program’s migration to the agency’s Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP), the Commission has streamlined patient registration and eliminated a historic backlog of several thousand registrants. Now, through direct integration between the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassCIP, patients receive automatic verification of identification data when they register or renew their program certification using their Massachusetts driver’s license. Last summer, the Commission also launched Initial Access Certification of patients and caregivers which permits immediate entry into an MTC using temporary registration and prior to the issuance of an annual registration card.
The Commission appreciates the Administration for recognizing MTCs provide essential services to registered qualifying patients in the Commonwealth. The agency will continue to monitor ongoing developments to the COVID-19 state of emergency and keep all licensees informed about steps they must take to preserve and uphold the health and safety of patients, customers, and their employees, including the temporary closure of adult-use cannabis operations.
The Commission remains a resource for MTCs and MEs to ensure they comply with the Administration’s order as well as with regulations, guidance, and bulletins that will continue to be released during this unprecedented time. To date, the Commission has issued the following bulletins relative to the COVID-19 state of emergency:
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.