As Massachusetts begins its third year of legal adult-use marijuana sales and after more than one billion dollars in gross sales revenue, the commonwealth has proved it can efficiently regulate a safe and effective cannabis industry. However, the Cannabis Control Commission’s efforts remain ongoing, and the work ahead must be marked by deep collaboration between state and local government, industry, academia, and other key stakeholders to achieve a truly equitable industry that preserves and promotes public health and safety.
This past spring, the commission began a robust and transparent regulatory review process that solicited feedback from all corners of the commonwealth. The comments were at times contentious with strong opinions on all sides; however, it was our job to strike the right balance and establish the best path forward for Massachusetts. The rule-making process concludes this month when the secretary of the commonwealth promulgates our comprehensive regulations that further access for patients and caregivers; create a new research license to promote the study of cannabis, institute public health safeguards in the wake of the national vape health crisis, and strengthen our equity efforts with the new Delivery Operator license type and an expanded exclusivity period.
On reflection, the delivery license stood out as a central discussion point during this regulatory round due to its potential to meet so many of our priorities around equity, consumer access, incremental tax revenue, and combating the illicit market.