Massachusetts Cannabis Regulations are Ready

Marijuana shops are coming to Massachusetts and if everything continues on schedule, they should be open by the beginning of July.

On Tuesday, March 6th, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) finished drafting the regulations for the newly born Massachusetts Cannabis Industry. And what an industry it will be!

The timeline is currently set: March 15th wraps draft regulations, applications will be accepted for recreational marijuana licenses on April 1st and will allow shops to become operational at the beginning of July.

According to Boston Magazine, CCC Chairman Steve Hoffman sounded optimistic this week about that timeline. “I think we have a lot of work to do in terms of building our staff and building our technology, but I think we have a good foundation based upon these regulations, so I am confident,” Hoffman told the State House News Service, adding, “Our intent is to have a go on July 1 and we are hitting all of the deadlines that we have in the legislation, so I’m feeling good about that.”

The CCC agreed to delay the rules regarding licenses for pot cafés where the drug could be consumed on-site, legal home delivery services, or THC-laced treats at places movie theaters – until later this year. A decision on those licenses has been pushed back to October 31.

Dispensaries with licenses for recreational marijuana sales will have to keep a reserve of their products on the side for medical marijuana patients, and will have to have separate lines at stores for those with medical IDs.

Grow operations will now be limited to a maximum size of 100,000 square feet. Cultivators will also be sorted by size into one of 11 tiers, and be required to prove that they can sell at least 85 percent of the marijuana they grow—an effort to keep growers from having a surplus of product that might be diverted to the black market. If a grower can’t sell that much, the CCC can demote them into a lower tier, and thus limit the amount of marijuana they’re allowed to grow in the future.

The CCC voted 3-2 not to accept applicants who have federal drug trafficking convictions, for drugs other than marijuana, on their criminal record.

Commissioners also voted to approve the labels that will need to be placed on cannabis products, settling on red-and-black design accompanying the words “contains THC” and “not safe for kids.”