CCC adopts cannabis delivery rules, creates new license type

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With a 3-1 vote today, the Cannabis Control Commission adopted regulatory changes creating two forms of delivery licenses and changing the definition of buffer zones, among other amendments.

The changes to the Adult Use of Marijuana regulations (935 CMR 500.000) create two different license types authorized to deliver to adult-use consumers.

A Marijuana Courier License is a new iteration of the Delivery-Only License that was already in the commission’s regulations.

The commission added a new Marijuana Delivery Operator License, which allows businesses to purchase marijuana and finished marijuana products at wholesale from cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives, product manufacturers, and microbusinesses and sell orders directly to consumers.

Both licenses will be available exclusively to Certified Economic Empowerment Applicants and Social Equity Program Participants for a minimum of three years.

The commission differentiated these license types from the license for marijuana retailers, stating that delivery services are not to be considered a retailer.

In an effort to forestall monopolies, the commission established caps on the number of delivery and retail licenses that a person or entity may hold.

The MMA had submitted comments on the proposed regulations on Oct. 15, urging the commission not to adopt the new marijuana delivery operator license (wholesale delivery license).

The commission also changed how the buffer zone distance of 500 feet is to be measured under 935 CMR 501.110(3). It is now to be measured in a straight line from the geometric center of the marijuana establishment entrance to the geometric center of the nearest school entrance unless there is an “impassable barrier” within those 500 feet, in which case the buffer zone distance is to be measured along the center of the shortest publicly accessible pedestrian travel path from the geometric center of the marijuana establishment entrance to the geometric center of the nearest school entrance.

The buffer zone distance of 500 feet may be reduced by a city or town ordinance or bylaw.

Impassible barrier is defined as a highway, public or private way or path, inaccessible structure, body of water, or other obstruction that renders any part of the 500-foot straight-line distance between a marijuana establishment entrance and a school entrance inaccessible by a pedestrian or automobile.

The previous definition did not include exclusions for impassable barriers and was measured in a straight line from the nearest point of the property line in question to the nearest point of the property line where the marijuana establishment is or will be located. The MMA submitted comments on Aug. 13 expressing concerns about the proposed change.

Written by Brittney Franklin, Senior Legislative Analyst

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