Back in 2016, voters in Massachusetts elected to legalize cannabis in the state. Nearly four years later, the legal landscape of Massachusetts’ legal cannabis industry is still changing and shifting. Like in most states with a legal cannabis program, the industry is fairly young, and regulators are working together with stakeholders and consumers to create a regulatory framework that works for everyone.
Last Monday, there was a public hearing held to collect input on the cannabis industry from medical marijuana patients, caregivers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The information will help the Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”), which was tasked with regulating the state’s cannabis industry, to formulate regulations during its third phase of rule-making.
One of the areas covered in the hearing was home delivery of marijuana. Although the state has allowed home delivery under its medical marijuana program, advocates are pushing for a delivery-only license for the recreational market. They argue that this will help level the playing field between large corporations and small businesses as there are fewer barriers to entry for delivering compared to retail licenses.
Additionally, the advocates advised the CCC to increase the exclusivity period for delivery licenses. They are exclusively available to participants in the CCC’s Social Equity Program and certified economic empowerment applicants for a minimum of two years.
“If the exclusivity period remains at two years, this will not give the commission enough time to evaluate the success or lack thereof of the delivery license since not every operator will be licensed at the start of the period, and evaluation must occur many months before the expiration date of exclusivity. To give yourselves enough time to evaluate the program and what changes might need to be made, please extend exclusivity to three years, with an option to renew at that point,” says Morriss Partee, president of Emerald River LLC and advisor to the Massachusetts Cannabis Association for Delivery (“MCAD”).
Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (“MPAA”) Development Director Michael Latulippe raised an issue with the state’s telehealth program. He asked the CCC to make its executive director’s bulletin allowing initial medical marijuana patient certification to take place via a telehealth appointment between a patient and physician a permanent part of its regulations.
“The medical program suffers from the same problems as traditional health care in communities of disproportionate impact. Additionally, patients in rural areas and patients incapacitated by their conditions are limited by this regulation. It is widely reported that veterans, victims of incarceration, and many other groups in areas of disproportionate impact suffer from post-traumatic stress and have a general anxiety towards health care, which creates social disparities in health care access for those groups.”
It is believed that companies like The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) are hoping that the Massachusetts regulators act on the feedback they received so that the industry meets the needs of all stakeholders in the state.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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