At the Cannabis Control Commission meeting Thursday, regulators and the commission’s general counsel discussed movement in the case.
General Counsel Christine Baily told the commissioners that options to address the litigation include consulting with the attorney’s general’s office about what steps it can take, which could include filing a letter or amicus brief. Another option, she said, would be for the commission to intervene as a party.
Commissioner Shaleen Title suggested that the commission move forward with consulting with the attorney general’s office.
“This should be considered in the context that the commission was required under the law to grant priority to both groups, medical dispensaries and economic empowerment applicants and we intended to grant them on an alternating basis if complete applications were submitted from both groups,” she said, adding that as a policy, the commission decided it would not hold up one group that had completed applications if there were no completed applications from the other group.
“And so, there has been a very lopsided disparity between the two groups. Since the beginning, it’s been lopsided,” she said. Before Thursday’s meeting, there were 193 registered marijuana dispensary priority applications granted and 8 economic empowerment applicants granted.
Title noted that the court’s decision on the injunction was based on its view that Cambridge’s ordinance appeared to conflict with the CCC’s method of giving priority review to economic empowerment applicants.
A motion “to move to consult with the attorney general about potential options regarding filing a letter or brief on the narrow topic of our regulatory intent, regulations, how they’re playing out in practice and guidance or other relevant materials and come back to the commission for further discussion” was unanimously approved by the commissioners.
Last month, the city of Cambridge said it would wait for the issue to play out in court before entering into new host community agreements with applicants. However, the city then reversed its decision and is now accepting new applications for host community agreements.
Following the meeting, Hoffman said he was grateful for municipalities like Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Holyoke and others that have considered how they can promote equity in the cannabis industry.
“I encourage all cities and towns to consider what they can do to help the state meet its equity objectives,” Hoffman said. “I won’t comment on how cities and towns should do it. That’s really up to the cities and towns.”