Grow, Gift, Repair

Nice recap on rollout of Cannabis Cafes

Under the marijuana industry regulations approved in March, the Cannabis Control Commission will not license any social consumption establishments, or weed delivery businesses, until at least well into 2019 — if ever.

So when could they arrive?

The agreement to stagger the rollout of the state’s new industry came after Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and other lawmakers urged the commission not to simultaneously begin licensing social use establishments and delivery services with retail stores this July, as they had initially planned.

“I think the experience coming out of both Colorado and Oregon has been this is a very tough industry to regulate straight out of the gate, and people should crawl before they walk, and walk before they run,” Baker, who opposed the 2016 referendum, told reporters in February.

Baker’s administration raised concernsthat licensing social consumption establishments could lead to more people driving under the influence of marijuana, as well as more minors accessing the drug.
The commission subsequently agreed on a compromise to delay social use and delivery licensing, giving it more time to study those concerns. It gave itself an explicit deadline to revisit the subject, after collecting more information, by Oct. 31 and to adopt regulations by the end of February 2019

CCC officials say the decision was based on the 10 public hearings they held throughout the state and nearly 500 public comments they received prior to their final regulation discussions.

“It was clear looking at the feedback that there was hesitance and lack of confidence in how the process will play out and I think it’s important for our commission to develop relationships where people feel that they can trust us, they can look to us to be answering the questions and addressing the concerns that they have,” Shaleen Title, a commissioner, told the State House News Service at the time.

The CCC says it’s difficult to predict when exactly the first licenses for social consumption would be issued. But officials note that the commission adopted its regulations for retail establishments this past March, but did not start issuing licenses until June 1. Perhaps a similar timeline would take place for the licensing of social consumption establishments in 2019.