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The Latest on Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery & Social Use at NCIA's Seed-to-Sale

One highlight of the 2019 National Cannabis Industry Association’s Seed-to-Sale show (February 12-13, 2019) was yesterday’s fireside chat between Chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission of Massachusetts, Steven Hoffman, and NCIA Co-Founder and Policy Council Chair, Steve Fox. Towards the end of their conversation Fox and Hoffman spoke about one of the most discussed areas of potential Massachusetts cannabis regulation for industry insiders and consumers alike:  delivery and social consumption.

Hoffman indicated that these issues are a priority for the Commission, including ways to further the goals of Massachusetts’ Social Equity Program.  That these issues are priorities is not surprising, as states continue to explore opening new avenues for entrepreneurs to service cannabis consumers, and to push back against the illicit market.  In fact, earlier this year, the Public Safety and Community Mitigation subcommittee of the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board voted to recommend that Massachusetts permit such businesses.

For delivery, savvy operators will be paying close attention to the rules adopted to see how Massachusetts follows the lead of states already permitting delivery, and the ways in which it attempts to reset the national regulatory trend on delivery.  For instance, with California now permitting statewide delivery, and with limited local approvals for retail in some areas of Massachusetts a source of much consternation, would the regulators consider a liberal delivery framework to increase market access?    

For social use, Massachusetts would be taking the national regulatory lead on statewide rules and regulations for a service that consumers are demanding.  Needless to say, other states will be paying close attention to these decisions and the potential rollout thereafter.

Stepping back to a macro perspective, with Massachusetts’ first retail establishments off to a strong start, there will likely be significant interest in how these regulations develop. To that end,   Hoffman noted that there will be two public listening sessions in March 2019 to allow the public to be heard on these hotly debated issues.