Massachusetts Finalizes Retail Marijuana License Regulations
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously on March 6th to approve regulations for implementation of the State's retail marijuana industry, including rules governing the Marijuana Establishment License. The Commission will begin accepting applications on April 1st and will begin issuing licenses no earlier than June 1st. Legalized retail marijuana sales in the State is slated to begin July 1st of 2018.
The finalized regulations were filed with the Secretary of State's office on March 9th, but it should be noted that the regulations will not become effective until they are published in the Massachusetts Register, which is expected by month-end.
The State's Marijuana Establishment License will have 9 classifications: Indoor or Outdoor Cultivator; Craft Marijuana Cooperative; Microbusiness; Manufacturing; Independent Testing Laboratory; Retail (brick and mortar); Third-party Transporter; Existing Licensee Transporter; and Research Laboratory. Each classification requires a distinct application fee, background checks, a qualifying agent and applicable supporting documentation dependent on the type of facility.
The regulations also temporarily prohibit certain activities and allow regulatory authority for local governments. Delivery service businesses and social consumption establishments, such as cafes serving edible marijuana will be prohibited pending further research and legal review, per the Commission's website. Additionally, the regulations allow local municipalities to restrict retail marijuana businesses as they see fit. Some towns have issued moratoriums on such businesses, while other towns have passed retail marijuana zoning provisions in anticipation of the newly legalized industry.