Massachusetts: Regulators Vote in Favor of Cannabis Deliveries, On-Site Consumption Facilities

Boston, MA: Members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission decided this week in favor of regulations to establish licensing for retail cannabis deliveries and for limited on-site consumption facilities.

Members voted 4 to 1 in favor of the provisions. Regulators in May had previously advanced the idea of permitting social use spaces.

A separate provision approved unanimously by the Commission eliminates the annual fee associated with patients’ medical cannabis registration cards.

Regulators anticipate accepting applications for home-delivery licenses within "a couple of months." Applicants will first need to gain the approval of local communities prior to seeking a state-issued permit. Deliveries will not be permitted after 9pm or before 8am, and retailers are prohibited from delivering cannabis to college dormitories.

Regulators expect the rollout for the licensing of consumption facilities to be slower, and legislative changes to existing state law may be required before the program can become operational.

To date, only Alaska has finalized statewide regulation governing on-site facilities. In May, Colorado lawmakers enacted legislation regulating both marijuana deliveries and "hospitality spaces." Those laws take effect on January 1, 2020.

In a separate action taken this week, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker instituted an emergency ban on the retail sale of all vapor cartridge products. The retail ban took immediate effect and will remain in place until January 25, 2020. Massachusetts in the first state to enact an explicit ban on the sale of any vaping-related product.

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.