Joseph Gilmore, co-founder of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council and president of the University of Massachusetts Boston Students for Sensible Drug Policy, said the CCC meaningfully considered and implemented community members’ recommendations.
“You really have to thank the people who showed up [to] the hearings,” Gilmore said. “I think that the community made a really big impact on the regulations in terms of what we want to see in terms of inclusivity and equity.”
For example, Gilmore said the MRCC and others advocated for social equity program applicants — applicants disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs — and microbusinesses to receive access to the recreational cannabis industry.
In response to this concern, the CCC exclusively allotted social consumption and home delivery business licenses for underprivileged and under-resourced applicants, Gilmore said. Social consumption retail locations, such as marijuana cafes, would permit customers to consume marijuana on its premises, and delivery-based businesses would arrange the transportation of cannabis products to consumers’ homes.
The involvement of equity applicants and microbusinesses in social consumption and home delivery businesses, however, is awaiting the CCC’s reconsideration and authorization of these business licenses at a later date. The approval of social consumption and home delivery models was delayed due to logistical and safety concerns.
Will Luzier, the Massachusetts political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said the CCC should have approved social consumption businesses this spring, because without their presence, several people will be left without a safe and appropriate place to consume cannabis.
“The problem with delaying social use is there is no place for any people who can’t use cannabis at home to use it in a social setting,” Luzier said. “So, folks who live in public housing, folks whose landlords prohibit it, folks who might not want to use around their children and folks who might just want to enjoy some cannabis out with their friends — [they] won’t have any place to go.”