In other news, the CCC is in the market for a vendor who can vet all of the applicants who will be lining up for those said licenses to operate a recreational cannabis business, whether on the cultivation, transport, manufacture, processing, distribution, testing, or sales sides of the industry. From the state’s solicitation of services:
It is the objective of the Commission to identify and then engage a consultant for implementation of an investigative program to conduct suitability inquiries of potential Marijuana Establishment agents, licensees, executives and employees. The purpose of the inquiries is to draw to the attention of the Commission any matter which may adversely reflect upon the suitability of the applicant or registrant to obtain, hold or renew a license or registration.
At the time of this writing, the CCC is slated to have final regs done by March 15. From there, so long as there’s no meddling by the executive branch, or even if there is, the commission is expected to begin accepting applications on April 1. It’s unclear who will vet those applications until the contract noted above is fulfilled, but considering the rate at which they’ve moved so far, it’s likely that will be in place soon as well. Or not.
“It’s difficult to generate a workable system with so much pressure from former [cannabis] opponents to apply the brakes,” said Keith Saunders, a longtime Mass cannabis advocate and member of NORML’s national board of directors. “They delayed the process for six months and still claimed they needed more time. Meanwhile, the unregulated cannabis market in Massachusetts is moving along smoothly. The point of [Question 4] was to bring that unregulated market under regulations, but Charlie Baker and the million-dollar lobbyists would rather a hybrid, where medicinal licensees hold a monopoly on distribution, production, and processing—all in the name of what?”