“Massachusetts should allow marijuana home delivery — and for five years grant those business licenses only to small companies and people from communities disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs, a state panel voted Thursday.
The near-unanimous vote by the Cannabis Advisory Board was an effort to redress the historically high rate of pot arrests among black and Hispanic people and help them join a capital-intensive industry dominated by well-heeled corporations.”
“It’s certainly not just selling widgets or selling soda,” said Shanel Lindsay, a cannabis businesswoman and minority advocate. “We’re selling a product that . . . has been used as a tool to disenfranchise our families, take our parents from us, take our children from us, and take our opportunities from us.”
The recommendation of the diverse 25-member board — which includes businessowners, activists, police, and health experts — carries no legal weight. But it will be sent to the state Cannabis Control Commission to consider enacting this spring. The commission has a legal mandate to boost participation in the industry by diverse participants, including communities affected by racially unbalanced marijuana enforcement.
The board will meet again in upcoming weeks to vote on recommendations for licenses for social consumption, or cannabis “bars.” Last February, the commission voted to delay social consumption and delivery regulations for this year. Regulators also voted to initially prioritize those licenses exclusively for those disproportionately affected by unbalanced marijuana enforcement, micro-businesses, and co-ops.
The commission will hear public comment, debate, and vote on social consumption and delivery, along with other regulatory changes, this spring.