Grow, Gift, Repair

Delivery regs coming!

Another issue of concern is the economic burden these businesses face with all of the proposed regulations. If passed as is, not only will delivery staff have to wear body cameras, but delivery vehicles will have to include two delivery workers, be equipped with GPS trackers, have a video system that includes one or more video cameras in the storage area of the vehicle, and one or more video cameras in the driver area of the vehicle.

Delivery licenses have been set aside for Economic Empowerment and Social Equity applicants, to make up for inequities in licensing for business owners impacted by the war on drugs. However, according to Joe Gilmore, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, these proposed body camera requirements and all other required technology are actually making equity harder to achieve.

“Equipment and data storage costs will ultimately fall on the consumer. There’s no reason for delivery licenses to be so capital-intensive when such stringent regulations have never been required for existing alcohol delivery operations as Drizly, pharmaceutical delivery, and Amazon,” says Gilmore.

There is also a lack of data that delivery staff will be victims of theft. Mike Dundas, CEO of Sira Naturals, chairs the Cannabis Advisory Board’s Industry Subcommittee. The subcommittee unanimously recommended that body cameras be struck entirely from the regulations.

“There are enormous privacy considerations and they have not been counterbalanced with any data indicating it’s any more dangerous than pizza delivery. Show me the data and I’ll be the first one to change my mind,” says Dundas.

Dundas, who has been in the business since the medical program started in 2013, sees history repeating itself: “We saw this when the medical program started and we see it as the adult-use program evolves. There is an outsized, exaggerated fear around things like public safety, underage abuse, impaired driving. Not to say those things aren’t critically important, but relative to the data, the fears are outsized.”

The CCC will reconvene the second week of September to debate any changes commissioners believe are necessary and then vote to finalize regulations.