CANNABIS MASSACHUSETTS: CHANGES MADE TO THE HOUSE BILL

massreccouncilNews & Events

  • LOCAL VOTERS: KILL THE BILL

  • FREE THE WEED

  • HOUSE BILL

  • SHALEEN TITLE: EON

  • Maggie Kinsella: MASSCANN/NORML &
    NIC

  • KAMANI JEFFERSON, MRCC

  • Craft cannabis licenses, MRCC

UPDATES ON MARIJUANA LEGISLATION: HOUSE BILL

Wednesday morning, the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council stood with MassCann/NORML, EON, Women Grow, NIC, MPP, the Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council, and local voters in front of the state house steps in response to a House Bill that will repeal and replace the ballot initiative approved by 1.8 million Massachusetts voters: House Bill 3776, was approved on a 126-28 vote.

BRIEF SUMMARY
People who voted YES (Y) voted to:

SETBACKS:
Be aware of this and call ☎️ your representative. Let them know why you are disappointed.
High taxes
Removal of power for communities to vote to opt out, giving full power to one ☝️ person/a few people: city council or town selectmen.
Finger printing for the FBI ?for anyone who chooses to work in the marijuana industry. This in not expected in the alcohol industry?.
Keep people with prior marijuana convictions (non-violent) out of the industry.

VICTORIES: Together, we were able to push for these victories.
• Language for smaller grows and co-ops.
Inclusion and protection of those damaged most by the war on drugs.
Removing the ability for the commission to perform “warrantless searches.”
• Adding back the language to protect parents from being discriminated against in custody or DCF hearings.
• A section requiring energy and environmental standards.

House Bill 3776, will be negotiated against the Senate Bill and adjustments will be made during the conference committee next week before the laws are solidified June 30th. Make sure you keep calling your representatives. Find these updates useful? Donate to help us bring more information to you. DONATE HERE

Vote for House Bill 3776

EXPANDED SUMMARY
The following is a more in depth summary of what was kept and changed in the HOUSE BILL Wednesday, June 21st. Summary of the Senate Bill coming soon.

Kill the Bill

KEPT: HIGHER TAXES
28% tax rate on retail cannabis sales only, it would not apply to medical establishments, infused-product manufacturers or cultivators.

“Section 27. (a) An adult use cannabis licensee shall pay a daily excise of 16.75 per cent on gross retail cannabis revenue. All sums collected or received by the commissioner of revenue pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited in the Cannabis Revenue Fund established by section 28.
(b) In addition to the daily excise imposed by subsection (a), an adult use cannabis licensee shall pay a daily excise of 5 per cent on gross retail cannabis revenue. All sums collected or received by the commissioner of revenue pursuant to this subsection shall be transferred by the commissioner of revenue to the treasurer of the host municipality from which the revenue was collected at least monthly.
(c) The excise imposed pursuant to subsection (a) and subsection (b) shall be in addition
to excise imposed upon the sale of property or services as provided in section 2 of chapter 64H and shall be paid by an adult use cannabis licensee to the commissioner of revenue at the time
provided for filing the return required by section 16 of chapter 62C.
(d) The excise imposed pursuant to subsection (a) and subsection (b) shall not apply to sales by a medical use cannabis licensee, a marijuana product manufacturer or a marijuana cultivator.” KEPT: REMOVE LOCAL VOTER CONTROL
Local control regarding banning is taken away from the people and given to the municipality, but they added the restriction “that such ordinances and bylaws may not be unreasonably impractical.”

“Section 6 (b) A municipality may reject the provisions of this chapter relative to an adult use cannabis establishment, a medical use cannabis establishment, a marijuana product manufacturer or a marijuana cultivator by a vote conducted in the following manner: in a city having a Plan D or Plan E charter, by a majority vote of its city council and approval of the city manager; in any other city, by a majority vote of its city council and approval by the mayor or, in a city without a mayor, the chief executive officer; and in a town, by a majority vote of the board of selectmen and a majority vote of the town at a town meeting. (c) An adult use cannabis
establishment, a medical use cannabis establishment, a marijuana product manufacturer or a marijuana cultivator seeking to operate in a municipality which permits such operation shall execute an agreement with the host community setting forth the conditions to have a cannabis establishment located within the host community which shall include, without limitation, all stipulations of responsibilities between the host community and the adult use cannabis establishment or medical use cannabis establishment. An agreement between an adult use cannabis establishment or medical use cannabis establishment and a host municipality shall include a community impact fee for the host community; provided, however, that the community impact fee shall be reasonably related to the costs imposed upon the municipality by the operation of the cannabis establishment. Any cost to a city or town by the operation of a cannabis establishment shall be documented and considered a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws. (d) A municipality may adopt ordinances or by-laws that impose reasonable safeguards on the operation of an adult use cannabis establishment, a medical use cannabis establishment, marijuana product manufacturer or a marijuana cultivator consistent with this chapter and regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter; provided however that such ordinances and bylaws may not be unreasonably impractical. The ordinances or by-laws may, without limitation: (1) reasonably govern the time, place, manner and business dealings of an adult use cannabis establishment or medical use cannabis establishment, including reasonable restriction of certain marijuana accessories and public signage; (2) reasonably restrict cultivation, processing and manufacturing activities if deemed a public nuisance; and (3) establish a civil penalty for violation of an ordinance or by-law enacted pursuant to this subsection. (e) No municipality may prohibit the transportation or delivery of marijuana or otherwise adopt an ordinance or by-law that makes the transportation or delivery of marijuana through said municipality unreasonably impracticable.”


KEPT: FINGERPRINTS & BARRING PEOPLE WITH FELONIES (NON-VIOLENT CRIMES)
According to the NAACP, “African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population. Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons.” The house bill excludes anyone with a felony from the cannabis industry, even if it is a non-violent crime such as marijuana possession. Individuals with felonies can only apply after 25 years.

With the House Bill: Any persons with a felony can not be involved with this new legal Cannabis industry whatsoever. Whether it’s the Cannabis Control Commission or owning/being employed (an applicant who has been convicted of a felony can apply to the commission for a waiver if the conviction happened 25 years or more prior to the date of the submission of the registration) at a Cannabis establishment. This language exists in several sections of the law. The Cannabis Control Commission would also keep fingerprints of prospective employees looking to join the Cannabis space.

“Section 3 (l) The commission may require a prospective employee to: (i) submit an application and a personal disclosure on a form prescribed by the commission which shall include a complete criminal history, including convictions and current charges for all felonies and misdemeanors;
(ii) undergo testing which detects the presence of illegal substances in the body; (iii) provide fingerprints and a photograph consistent with standards adopted by the state police; and (iv) provide authorization for the commission to conduct a credit check. The commission shall verify the identification, employment and education of each prospective employee, including: (i) legal name, including any alias; (ii) all secondary and post-secondary educational institutions attended
regardless of graduation status; (iii) place of residence; and (iv) employment history. The commission shall not hire a prospective employee if the prospective employee has: (i) been convicted of a felony; (ii) been convicted of a misdemeanor more than 10 years prior to the prospective employee’s application that, in the discretion of the commission, bears a close relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position for which employment is sought; (iii) been dismissed from prior employment for gross misconduct or incompetence; or (iv) intentionally made a false statement concerning a material fact in connection with the prospective employee’s application to the commission. If an employee of the commission is charged with a felony while employed by the commission, the commission shall suspend the employee, with or without pay, and terminate employment with the commission upon conviction. If an employee of the commission is charged with a misdemeanor while employed by the commission, the commission shall suspend the employee, with or without pay, and may terminate employment with the commission upon conviction if, in the discretion of the commission, the offense for which the employee has been convicted bears a close relationship to the duties and responsibilities of the position held with the commission.”

“Section 17. (a) The commission shall deny an application for a cannabis license or for licensure for a person required to be qualified for licensure pursuant to section 16, if the applicant or such person: (i) has been convicted of a felony, provided that an applicant that has
been convicted of a felony may apply to the commission for a waiver if such conviction occurred 25 years or more prior to the date of the submission of the application; (ii) submitted an application for a license under this chapter that contains false or misleading information has
affiliates or close associates that would not qualify for a license or whose relationship with the applicant may pose an injurious threat to the interests of the commonwealth in awarding a cannabis license to the applicant.”

“Section 21 (b) The commission shall prescribe the form for registering as a cannabis employee which shall include, but shall not be limited to: (1) the name and address of the person seeking to register as a cannabis employee; (2) an affidavit in which the person seeking to register shall
verify that he or she has not been convicted of a felony, provided that a person seeking to register as a cannabis employee that has been convicted of a felony may apply to the commission for a
waiver if such conviction occurred 25 years or more prior to the date of the submission of the registration; and (3) any other information the commission deems appropriate, including, but not limited to: (i) a detailed employment history; (ii) fingerprints; (iii) a criminal and arrest record;
and (iv) any civil judgments pertaining to antitrust or security regulation against the person seeking to register as a cannabis employee.”

“Section 21 (c) Upon receipt of a registration form, the bureau may conduct an investigation of the person seeking to register as a cannabis employee, which shall include obtaining criminal offender record information from the department of criminal justice information services and exchanging fingerprint data and criminal history with the department of state police. If the bureau discovers that a person seeking registration pursuant to this section, falsely verified that he or she has not been convicted of a felony, the bureau shall notify the commission and the
commission shall send written notification to the person seeking registration that the registration has been denied and the person is disqualified from employment at any cannabis establishment.”

“Section 31 (b) (5) No one shall be a laboratory agent who has been convicted of a felony drug offense. The commission may conduct criminal record checks with the department of criminal justice information services and may set standards and procedures to enforce this provision. Such
standards and procedures may include requiring applicants seeking registration to submit a full set of fingerprints for the purposes of conducting a state and national criminal history records check pursuant to sections 167 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6 and 28 U.S.C. section 534 through the department of criminal justice information services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The commission shall treat such information in accordance with said sections 167 to 178 of said
1372 chapter 6 and the regulations thereunder

Craft cannabis licenses.


CHANGED/AMENDED: CRAFT CO-OP CANNABIS OPPORTUNITIES
Small businesses and farmers alike will have a craft cultivator cooperative license option! This means residents of the Commonwealth can grow their own Cannabis in a grow facility no larger than 15,000 square feet.

“Section (35) administer a craft marijuana cultivator marijuana cooperative program in order to promote and encourage full participation in the regulated marijuana industry by farmers and small businesses; including but not limited to, the following criteria: (i) ownership interests in a marijuana cultivator cooperative is limited to not more than 40 per cent by any single individual or entity; (ii) a marijuana cultivator cooperative be limited to not more than 15,000 square feet of growing space cultivation capacity; and (iii) a reasonable fee for licensure as a craft cultivator marijuana cooperative program. For the purposes of this clause, the term ‘Craft Cultivator Marijuana Cooperative’, shall mean a type of marijuana cultivator that is a cooperative comprised of residents of the commonwealth.
CHANGED/AMENDED: INCLUSION & PROTECTION FOR THOSE DAMAGED MOST BY THE WAR ON DRUGS

Program made to address communities most hurt by the war on drugs.
“Section (33) The commission shall adopt diversity licensing goals that provide meaningful participation of communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition and enforcement, including minority business enterprises, women business enterprises and veteran
business enterprises. The commission shall, in consultation with the supplier diversity office under the executive office of administration and finance, develop training programs designed and implemented to achieve meaningful participation by minority persons, women, and veterans.
These programs shall include but not limited to; (i) recruitment of minority, women, and veteran owned business enterprises to become licensed in cannabis related businesses; (ii) develop workforce training for minorities, women, and veterans to enter into cannabis related businesses
and; (iii) create employer training to attract minorities, women, and veterans into the workforce.”
The House Bill will be negotiated against the Senate Bill and adjustments will be made during the conference committee next week. Summary of the Senate Bill coming soon. Make sure to call your representatives. The law will be solidified before July 1st, now is the time to make calls.