On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the Cannabis Control Commission (the “Commission”) unanimously agreed to final regulations for adult-use cannabis in the State of Massachusetts. These regulations have not yet been published, but the Commission indicates that they will “incorporate language approved at [today’s] meeting into the final regulations before filing them with the Secretary of State.” There are nine licensing categories, which are intended to meet the varying needs of the cannabis industry. The material departures from the draft regulations adopted in December 2017 include:
- On-site consumption and delivery of cannabis are not yet permitted, but regulations for these activities are expected to be released within one year.
- Dispensaries will have to reserve at least 35% of their inventory for medical cannabis patients if they are co-located with a registered marijuana dispensary.
- Licensees growing cannabis will be limited to 100,000 square feet of canopy
- Any person with drug trafficking convictions will be banned from the industry, except if such convictions are related to cannabis.
The Commission is still committed to authorizing legal sales of adult-use cannabis by July 1, 2018, but there could be delays from individual municipalities in the adoption of their own regulations and permits. In order to meet this goal, the Commission anticipates accepting adult-use license applications starting on April 1, 2018, and the first adult-use licenses being issued to cannabis establishments on June 1, 2018. Priority status will be given to Economic Empowerment Applicants (applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana-related crimes) and to licensees of Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (licensees of medical dispensaries), which is consistent with the draft regulations.