Enforcement | Administrative Order Allowing Virtual Web-Based Community Outreach Meetings | April 27, 2020

Issued: April 27, 2020
Effective: April 28, 2020

Applicants for licensure pursuant to 935 CMR 500.000
Applicants for licensure pursuant to 935 CMR 501.000

Administrative Order No. 2

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER ALLOWING VIRTUAL WEB-BASED COMMUNITY OUTREACH MEETINGS
M.G.L. c. 94G, M.G.L. c. 94I, and
935 CMR 500.00 and 501.000

The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission), acting through its Executive Director, issues this administrative order (Administrative Order No. 2) in response to Governor Charles D. Baker’s Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19[1] issued on March 10, 2020 (Executive Order No. 591), and Order Extending the Closing of Certain Workplaces and the Prohibition on Gathers of More than 10 People[2] amended on March 31, 2020, a.k.a Covid-19 Order No. 21 (Essential Services and Revised Gatherings Order) and in accordance with M.G.L. c. 94G, M.G.L. 94I, and 935 CMR 500.000 and 501.000. Under the Governor’s orders, it is in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare to practice social distancing and limit gatherings.

The Commission, acting through its Executive Director, has determined that the requirement that an applicant hold an in person Community Outreach Meeting required by 935 CMR 500.101(1)(a)(9) or 935 CMR 501.101(1)(a)(9) and Guidance for Applicants on Community Outreach, would cause applicants undue hardship and risk public health, safety and welfare given the limitation of gatherings in accordance with the Governor’s Essential Services And Revised Gatherings Order. Therefore, so long as Governor Baker’s March 10, 2020 Order that a State of Emergency remains in place, a Community Outreach Meeting conducted in accordance with this order shall be deemed compliant for the purposes of submitting an application for licensure.

The Commission, acting through its Executive Director, hereby ORDERS as follows:

  1. Applicants may hold a Community Outreach Meeting via virtual, web-based means. The technology, including public interaction capabilities, shall be tested at least once prior to the date of the meeting.
  2. The applicant shall follow all accessibility requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines. This shall include, but is not limited to, closed captioning. The applicant may wish to liaise with the host community’s ADA coordinator.
  3. The applicant shall obtain approval in writing from the Contracting Authority or Authorized Representative of the host community for a virtual Community Outreach Meeting.
  4. The applicant shall ensure full notice of the meeting in accordance with 935 CMR 500.101(1)(a)(9) or 935 CMR 501.101(1)(a)(9).
  5. The applicant shall provide in the notice instructions on how to join and participate in the meeting. The applicant may wish to provide instructions in any language common to the host community.
  6. The applicant shall accept questions submitted in advance, which the applicant shall respond to during the meeting. The applicant shall detail how to submit questions in the notice.
  7. The applicant shall post on a publicly accessible website all meeting materials at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
  8. The applicant shall enable communication that allows for engagement, questions and other interaction between the applicant and residents of the host community.
  9. The applicant shall designate a meeting moderator, that individual shall not be associated with the applicant but may be associated with the host community. The moderator shall allow any meeting participant to offer questions or comments and allow for follow-up questions.
  10. The applicant shall submit to the Commission the number of participants attending the meeting.
  11. The applicant shall submit to the Commission a recording of the meeting as an attachment to their license application.
  12. The applicant shall submit a recording of the meeting to the host community in a form or manner conducive for replay on local cable access or other broadcast means at the host community’s discretion.
  13. With the exception of holding an in-person meeting, the applicant shall comply with all other requirements of 935 CMR 500.101(1)(a)(9) or 935 CMR 501.101(1)(a)(9) and Guidance for Applicants on Community Outreach.

Administrative Order No. 2 shall take effect on April 28, 2020, at 12:00pm.

Administrative Order No. 2 shall remain in effect until the rescission or modification of Executive Order No. 591 or the date the Commission rescinds or amends this order, whichever occurs first. The Commission may amend or modify this order as applicable.

Failure to comply with the above conditions may result in disciplinary action against the applicant, including but not limited to, denial of licensure.

Nothing herein should be construed as precluding or limiting the Commission’s authority to take additional administrative action to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

Questions about this order may be directed in writing to the above address, by phone (774-415-0200) on Monday – Friday from 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. or email at Commission@CCCMass.com.

Signed this 27th day of April 2020:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

Shawn Collins

Executive Director

[1] https://www.mass.gov/executive-orders/no-591-declaration-of-a-state-of-emergency-to-respond-to-covid-19

[2] https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-31-2020-essential-services-extension-order/download