Happy New Year!
The Cannabis Control Commission has finally approved draft regulations. The document released is a little over 100 pages and covers a wide-range of topics. The full document can be accessed here. Below is a brief overview of the following: social consumption, equity, and delivery services. However, these regulations are not final: below you will also find changes we are #lobbying for and opportunities you have as a consumer to make these changes possible. Regulations are finalized March 2018. Get invloved, this is your industry.
A marijuana social consumption establishment may buy marijuana from licensed marijuana establishments and sell single servings of marijuana to consumers for on-site consumption. They are broken up into two separate licenses: primary use and mixed use.
Primary Use: A primary use marijuana social consumption license shall be required for any commercial enterprise for which 51% or more of average monthly revenue is derived from the sale of marijuana products to be consumed on the premises.
Mixed-Use: A mixed use marijuana social consumption license shall be required for any commercial enterprise for which the consumption of marijuana is a secondary or shared purpose to a non-cannabis business purpose.
(i) 50% or less of average monthly gross revenue of a mixed use business shall be derived from the sale of marijuana products to be consumed on the premises;
(ii) Mixed use business licensees who sell marijuana shall only do so in a manner closely connected to or closely integrated with the primary or shared business product or service;
(iii) Mixed use business licensees shall only allow employees who are 21 years of age or older to have contact with marijuana products.
(iv) Mixed use business licensees shall only acquire marijuana products from a marijuana establishment and must comply with the tracking requirements.
(v) Mixed use business licensees must maintain a separate, locked storage area on its premises for marijuana products. Such separate, locked storage area shall be limited in access to only those employees who are 21 years of age or older and have completed a responsible vendor program.
*HOW CAN WE IMPROVE SOCIAL CONSUMPTION?
There will be a Social Equity Program established by the Cannabis Control Commission to provide training and technical assistance to qualified applicants and licensees which may include, but will not be limited to:
(a) Management, recruitment and employee training;
(b) Accounting, Financing and sales forecasting;
(c) Tax prediction and compliance;
(d) Legal compliance;
(e) Business plan creation and operational development;
(f) Marijuana industry best practices; and
(g) Assistance with identifying or raising funds or capital.
Eligibility for the Social Equity Program shall be met if applicants or licensees satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
A) Residency in an area of disproportionate impact, as defined by the Commission, for at least 5 of the preceding 10 years, as established by:
1. A Massachusetts driver’s record or Massachusetts ID card record;
2. A signed lease agreement that includes the subject’s name;
3. Residential property deed that includes the subject’s name;
4. School records;
5. Housing authority records;
6. Banking records;
7. Utility bills; or
8. Dated notices or correspondence from a local or state government entity that includes the subject’s name.
B) Residency in Massachusetts for at least the preceding 12 months and a conviction for 94C offense under chapter 94C of the General Laws or an equivalent conviction in another jurisdiction.
C) Residency in Massachusetts for at least the preceding 12 months and proof that the individual was either married to or the child of an individual convicted under chapter 94C of the General Laws or an equivalent conviction in another jurisdiction.
There will also be a committee appointed by the Commission for the purpose of providing experiential guidance regarding the logistics and outcomes. The nine-person Citizen Review Committee will be appointed by the Cannabis Control Commission Executive Director by January 31, 2018 and serve 2-year terms.
*HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE SOCIAL EQUITY PROGRAM?
We believe the qualifications for the equity program are unrealistic. We are lobbying for changes to include low-income and low-net worth as a qualification for equity applicants. Currently, some members of Cannabis Control Commission, CCC, agree with the low-income/low-net worth qualifications for the Social Equity Program. Meanwhile, other board members of the CCC claim low income and low net-worth is not directly written into the original law. The CCC will not consider the change until more citizens testify for the need to include, low income and low net-worth as qualifications for the Social Equity Program. They want to hear from people. You have the opportunity to say something at the last public hearing listening sessions. More information below.
Marijuana Delivery-Only Retailer means an entity that does not provide a retail location accessible to the public, but is authorized to deliver directly from a marijuana cultivator facility, craft marijuana cultivator cooperative facility, marijuana product manufacturer facility, or micro-business.
A marijuana retailer may purchase and deliver marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana establishments and to deliver, sell or otherwise transfer marijuana and marijuana products to marijuana establishments and to consumers.
*HOW CAN WE IMPROVE DELIVERY SERVICES?
Current regulations do not allow for delivery without a brick-and-mortar location. The MRCC believes there needs to be low barriers to entry for local entrepreneurs who lack access real-estate and startup capital. Therefore, a non-brick and mortar delivery license, similarly to an “Uber” of weed delivery service, is necessary for consumers and local entrepreneurs. We will fight for this during public period. You can amplify the voice of this need at the last public hearing listening sessions.
There will be a public listening tour the first week of February. We need residents of the Commonwealth to show up and voice their opinions as these regulations are finalized.