Five things to know about the Cannabis business in Massachusetts today

  1. The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is a new regulatory body established to oversee the marijuana industry in Massachusetts. The CCC is a new independent entity created by Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, comprised of a five member board of commissioners. Appointments to the Commission were made by the Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General, and two other appointments were made by a majority vote of the previously mentioned constitutional officers.

The newly appointed Commissioners are:

  • Chairman Steve Hoffman (Treasurer Goldberg)
  • Former Senator Jennifer Flanagan (Governor Baker)
  • Britte McBride (Attorney General Healey)
  • Shaleen Title
  • Kay Doyle
  1. In the coming weeks and months the CCC will be responsible for hiring staff, setting policy and issuing regulations on a wide range of important issues for the adult use industry, including establishing a process for entities interested in pursuing cultivation, products manufacturing and retail licenses.
  1. The “head start” provision for teams that had previously submitted an application for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary, part of the original ballot question, was eliminated by the Legislature.
  1. To operate successfully in Massachusetts, businesses will also need to do important work at the municipal level. While many municipalities previously approved moratoriums for adult use facilities, the new law stipulates that cities and towns that had approved the ballot question with a majority vote must hold a city or town wide referendum to approve such a ban, while cities or towns that did not approve the ballot question with a majority vote may do so through town or city elected officials like a Board of Selectmen or a City Council. Working with residents, local and state elected officials, planning and zoning offices will be crucial in moving any project forward.
  1. The CCC will have to move quickly to meet its statutory deadlines. Under the law, applications must be received by the CCC on April 1, 2018, and licenses will not be issued until June 1, 2018 at the earliest. In comments this week, Chairman Hoffman indicated that the goal is to have business ready to open July 1, 2018. The CCC is expected to meet for the first time next week.

By: Chris Niles, Vice President