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UPDATE: MA Cannabis Control Commission agrees to cafes, home delivery, other businesses

According to meetings held December 11th, 12th, and 13th by the Cannabis Control Commission, cannabis officials granted preliminary approval to allow….



UPDATE: Today, 9/24/19, the Cannabis Control Commission officially approved marijuana cafes and pot delivery to homes. Home delivery will require a host agreement, while consumption cafes will require a revision to state law.

Our previous story:

According to  meetings held December 11th, 12th, and 13th by the Cannabis Control Commission, cannabis officials granted preliminary approval to allow marijuana cafes, pot delivery to homes, and to allow the sale and use in places such as restaurants, movie theaters, massage parlors, and yoga studios if regulated and licensed.

Here are the full in-depth results of those meetings courtesy of the Cannabis Control Commission:

Marijuana Cultivator
● Agreed to adopt the Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 language with clarification that each license is specific to a certain address.
● Adopt recommendation of Market Participation subcommittee & Marijuana Industry Subcommittee for tiered levels of cultivation license with the addition of requiring demonstration of consistent sales of 85% of inventory during the past 6 months before licensee can move up a tier
Tiers agreed upon:
○ (A) Tier I: Up to 1,000 square feet of plant cultivation space
○ (B) Tier II: 1,001 to 5,000 square feet of plant cultivation space
○ (C) Tier III: 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of cultivation space
○ (D) Tier IV: 10,001+ square feet (proportionate fee associated with each additional 5,000 square feet

Marijuana Research Facility
• Agreed to authorize a category of license for a marijuana research facility to cultivate, purchase or acquire marijuana to conduct research regarding marijuana and marijuana products.
• Any research involving humans must be authorized by an Institutional Review Board.
• The facility may not sell marijuana cultivated under its research license, but may hold a marijuana retailer license.
• All research must be conducted by individuals over the age of 21 years.

Craft Marijuana Cooperatives

● Agreed to adopt statutory definition: A marijuana cultivator comprised of residents of the commonwealth organized as a limited liability company or limited liability partnership under the laws of the commonwealth, or an appropriate business structure as determined by the commission, and that is licensed to cultivate, obtain, manufacture, process, package and brand marijuana and marijuana products to deliver marijuana to marijuana establishments but not to consumers.
● Agreed to Require residency for 12 months prior to application
● Agreed to allow up to 6 cultivation locations; 3 processing and/or manufacturing locations under 1 Cooperative license
● Cooperatives would be Limited to 1 license
● Required to have separate license for additional activities / Ex. Retail sales
Marijuana Product Manufacture:
● Agreed to adopt definition consistent with statute Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017: an entity licensed to obtain, manufacture, process and package marijuana and marijuana products, to deliver marijuana and marijuana products to marijuana establishments and to transfer marijuana and marijuana products to other marijuana establishments, but not to consumers.
● Agreed to limit of 3 license per entity
● Agreed that each license is specific to an address
Independent Testing Lab
● Adopt definition consistent with statue in Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017: Accredited, independent, and qualified;
● Agreed to add a new level of standards laboratory which will meet the standards of independent testing facility and could be used as resource to verify testing and methodology of independent testing labs.
Marijuana Retailer
● Agreed to adopt definition in statue Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017: entity licensed to purchase and deliver marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana establishments and to deliver, sell or otherwise transfer marijuana and marijuana products to marijuana establishments and to consumers and the license be specific to a certain address.
Transportation License
● Agreed to create a Transportation license to deliver product to the next level, including retailers and be subject to DPH transportation protocol and comply with tracking system requirements.
Social Consumption
● Agreed to Primary Use Social Consumption License for businesses that derive more than 50% of revenue from cannabis

● Mixed Use License which derives less than 50% of their business from cannabis sales and who may only sell cannabis with another service Ex. Restaurants, spas, movie theaters, yoga studios, etc.
● Agreed to not allow for consumers to bring their own product to these establishments
Microbusiness License
● Agreed to define microbusiness as cultivation, manufacturing, and delivery
● Agreed they had to be less than 5,000 sq.ft.
● Agreed this license would be available to anyone who does not have stake in another marijuana establishment and that has been a resident of Massachusetts for 12 months at the time of application.

Licensing Process
● Agreed to adopt an application process that allows for more flexibility for completion and review of applications
● Agreed to a “Packet” system which will include 3 parts, reviewed on a rolling basis
○ Application of Intent Ex: where are you planning on siting? What are the names of the people involved in the application?
○ Background Check Ex: fingerprinting (SAFIS), CORI
○ Management and Operations Profile: Detail provided about specific ways the applicant intends to meet the various requirements.
Capitalization Requirement for Applicants
● Agreed to low capitalization requirements and for some license types no capital requirements
Municipal License Requirements
● The Commission agreed to require an applicant-led community outreach hearing to be held within 6 months prior to an application being filed
● Agreed to adopt evidence of an executed Host Community Agreement between the applicant and the municipal contracting authority.
Management and Operations Profile
● Agreed to require license applicants as part of their operations profile submit a timeline that clearly identifies evidence of key policies and procedures necessary for the Marijuana Establishment to operate including obtaining liability insurance.
Specific License Types & Management and Operations Profile requirements
● Agreed to require additional Management and Operations Profile requirements for specific license types. EX: retail license applicants should be prepared to tell the Commission where they intend to acquire Marijuana and Marijuana Products from; cultivator license applicants should be prepared to provide detailed plan that includes policies and procedures for cultivation; Manufacturers should be prepared to provide a description of the types and forms of Marijuana Products to be produced; methods of production; and samples of any unique identifying marks that will appear on the product.
Existing Medical Marijuana (RMD’s) License Process
● Agreed to priority application review for existing Medical Marijuana Operators (RMD’s) that have met the requirements of Section 73 of Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 which includes existing RMDs that have achieved accreditation per §73(b)
● Agreed that as priority application they are mandated to provide additional information including certification of a Host Community Agreement specific to adult use recreational marijuana and if physically separate from existing RMD, evidence of compliance with local zoning, require they submit fingerprint authorization in accordance with G.L. c. 94G, sec.21; provide background information for C-Suite level, management and close associates not previously associated with the RMD license.

Operational Requirements for Retail
Agreed to adopt registered marijuana dispensary regulation that upon entry, a Marijuana Establishment Agent shall immediately inspect an individual’s identification, which shall contain a name, photograph and date of birth and shall be limited to: a driver’s license; a government-issued identification card; a military identification card; or a passport.
The Commission also agreed to adopt Industry Subcommittee recommendation allowing only those individuals 18 or over with a valid registration card on premises that offer both Medical and Recreational products, and to ensure separation at Point of Sale. They also agreed that If you are a pediatric patient, you may be on premises only with a registered personal caregiver.
Operational Requirements – Transportation
The Commission agreed to adopt the Department of Public Health Transportation Protocol including:
○ Vehicle must be owned by licensed entity;
○ Vehicle and driver must be licensed according to Mass RMV requirements for the class of vehicle;
○ Vehicle equipped with fixed GPS, two-way communication with shipping entity, alarm system;
○ No vehicle labeling identifying content;
○ Product not visible from outside;
○ Product kept in locked box secured to vehicle;
○ Manifest kept on board;
○ Linked to seed-to-sale tracking system;
○ 2 occupants within the vehicle during transportation;
○ No firearms within the vehicle.
Operational Requirements – Delivery by Retail Licensee or Microbusiness
Agreed to require transportation regulations as stated above plus:
o Positive identification of delivery recipient, proof of age (21 or older); and signature of recipient.
○ Identical packaging requirements as if sold at retail establishment.
○ No tampered with or open packaging prior to delivery.
○ $3,000 retail maximum value – multiple orders permitted within the maximum value.
○ Hours of operation to be limited to licensee’s operational hours.
○ Deliveries shall be limited to personal residences, as defined by regulation.

○ In the event of simultaneous delivery of medical and adult use cannabis and marijuana products, the delivery vehicle shall maintain two clearly labeled lock boxes to physical separate the product.
Separation of Medical and Adult Use Marijuana Products – Retail
Agreed to require a combination of virtual and physical separation: virtual separation until point of sale and physical separation of medical use and adult use products in the retail location due to differences in potency limitations. Cultivators and manufacturing shall maintain virtual separation through tracking system. Retail shall maintain physical separation of product and point of sale at counter.
Marijuana Establishment Employees – Registration
Agreed to adopt a DPH-like regulation requiring employees to obtain 1-year registration, paid for by the licensee; Require Marijuana Establishment Agents to carry a registration card with them at all times on premises; Allow for individual to be affiliated with multiple Marijuana Establishments; Immediately void registration upon separation from Marijuana Establishment.
Training and Responsible Vendor Program
Agreed to require training of all marijuana establishment agents to include the following:
● Marijuana Establishments shall ensure that all Marijuana Establishment Agents complete training prior to performing job functions.
● Training shall be tailored to the roles and responsibilities of the job function of each Marijuana Establishment Agent, and at a minimum must include a responsible vendor program modeled after Colorado’s responsible vendor program.
● At a minimum, staff shall receive 8 hours of on-going training annually.
● Additional or different requirements tailored to the roles and responsibilities of their job function
● Document that the hourly training has occurred
● Social use Cannabis Awareness and Response Education program should be incorporated into training program
● Vendors shall be certified by the Commission
● Ensuring that training is available online
Operational Requirements for Social Consumption
Agreed to adopt operational requirements for retail establishments, in addition to the following:
● Products from licensed cultivators or manufacturers, with an exception allowing restaurants using marijuana products to modify or further process products;
● Allow only individual servings. No marijuana may leave the premises;
● Develop Cannabis Awareness and Response Education for employees, to be integrated with Responsible Vendor Program;
● Add requirement for reasonable plan to assist with patron transportation;

● Prohibit any sales of alcohol at marijuana consumption establishments (no prohibition on liquor license, but sales may not be conducted at time of marijuana use/sale);
Operational Requirements – Social Consumption (Smoking)
** Will revisit for clarification Thursday December 14, 2017**
Social Consumption Ownership / Volume Restrictions
Agreed that a Licensee may be granted up to 3 Social Consumption Licenses and that no social use licenses may operate in municipalities with bans or moratoria on marijuana establishments.
Security and Incident Reporting
The Commission agreed to adopt the DPH security regulations for the medical use of marijuana program. In addition, adherence to the Cole memo and the enforcement areas it emphasizes may prevent federal intervention and should be prioritized (i.e. prevent diversion to other states, access by youth). Specific provisions relative to security include requiring: surveillance locations; mandated reporting; security systems with back-up alarm systems; storage and safekeeping of inventory in secure locked safe or vault; creating well-defined limited access areas and employee protocols.
Security Requirements – DPH Modifications
Agreed to adopt Public Safety Subcommittee recommendations with regard to alternative security safeguards and provide for specific regulations for outdoor cannabis cultivation that include:
○ Perimeter fencing designed to prevent unauthorized access;
○ Video cameras at points of entry/exit and in parking lots;
○ Surveillance system continuously monitored electronically, by monitoring company or by other means determined to be adequate by Commission and that provides alerts to system failure;
○ Surveillance system in locked area with limited access.
Security Requirements – Security Plan
Agreed to adopt both the Public Safety Sub-committee recommendation and a Colorado-like regulation specifying details of security system plan that includes a description of the location, a floorplan or layout of the establishment in a manner required by the municipality, and operation of the security system, including the location of the central control on premises, a schematic of security zones and the name of the security and monitoring company, if any.
Security Requirements – Incident Reporting
Agreed to adopt DPH-like reporting requirement that the Commission and law enforcement be notified within 24 hours of diversions, theft or losses; discrepancies; criminal actions; alarm activations requiring a public safety personnel or private security response; failure of an alarm system expected to last more than 8 hours;

○ Written report to Commission within 10 days of incident;
○ Maintenance of documentation related to incident for not less than 1 year and made available to Commission or law enforcement acting in their lawful jurisdiction upon request.
Edibles – Restrictions
Agreed to restrict products from being produced that bear a resemblance to the likeness of human, animal, fruit or sports equipment, as well as others shapes/likeness as determined by the Commission
Edibles – Names
Agreed to restrict products from being named anything similar to those of mainstream items consumed by minors
Products – Universal Symbol
Agreed to require the placement of the Universal Symbol on at least one side of the edible products considered to be “per se practicable.” For products not considered to be “per se practicable” the placement of the Universal Symbol on the package will be deemed sufficient.
Products – Serving Size
Agreed to limit edibles to 5mg per serving with 20 servings per package
Edibles – Approval of Products
Agreed to require that all new THC edible product categories be approved by the Commission prior to coming to market
Packaging –
Agreed to adopt child safety and consumer welfare according to regulations recommended by Subcommittees, plus best practices from the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation and the state of Oregon.
The following requirements apply to marijuana establishments, except for social consumption licensees.
● Limits on packaging design as spelled out in statute and recommended by Industry Sub-Committee and adopted in Oregon;
● Requiring child resistant packaging across all Marijuana and Marijuana Products that have been tested by qualified third party;
● Requiring package to be opaque or plain in design;
● Require packaging to be resealable if more than 1 serving;
● Where compliance with above requirements deemed to be impracticable with child resistant packaging, Marijuana Products must be placed in exit packaging capable of being resealed, with child warning.

Packaging – Multiple Servings
Commission agreed to adopt recommendations that address underlying issues of overconsumption that include:
● Allow the consumer to easily identify a single serving in a multi-serving package;
● Include a statement on the exterior: “INCLUDES MULTIPLE SERVINGS”;
● Where a product is not easily and permanently scored to identify individual servings, the product shall be packaged in a single serving size;
● Beverages shall be packaged in single serving sizes.
Packaging – Labeling
Agree to adopt Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, in addition include the following additional requirements:
● Net weight or volume in U.S. customary and metric units
● Type of marijuana used to produce the product, including processing techniques/solvents;
● Amount in grams of sodium, sugar, carbs, and total fat/serving;
● Number of servings;
● Directions for use.
Packaging – Labeling (Concentrates)
Commission agreed to adopt Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 and include the additional requirements:
● Net weight or volume in U.S. customary and metric units;
● Type of marijuana used to produce the product, including processing techniques/solvents;
● Product identity and the following warnings, as applicable
● Number of servings;
● Directions for use;
● Topicals/tinctures provisions the same, minus the warning.
Agreed to Adopt prohibitions outlines in Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 and in addition the following:
● No Advertising of an improper or objectionable nature, including without limitation the use of recipe books or pamphlets for marijuana products which contain obscene or suggestive statements;
● No signs or other printed matter advertising any brand or kind of marijuana product that are displayed on the exterior or interior of any licensed premises wherein marijuana products are not regularly and usually kept for sale;
● No transit advertising on or in public or private vehicles and at bus stops, taxi stands, transportation waiting areas, train stations, airports, etc., including without limitation vinyl wrapped vehicles, and logoed vehicles, and logoed delivery vehicles and company cars.

Advertising – Warnings
Agreed to require that all advertising contain the phrase “please consume responsibly” and two of the following warnings:
● “This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming”
● “Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug”
● “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product”
● “For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children”
● “Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding”
Agreed to require liability insurance of $1 million per incident; $2 million annual aggregate
● Alternate amount of insurance determined adequate by Commission
● $250K in escrow account
Waste Disposal
Agreed to emulate waste disposal requirements for medical use of marijuana and allow for the development of recycling options as required by Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017 and also make waste disposal part of issues considered by Energy and Environmental Workgroup – The Commission also agreed that waste disposal for the purposes of waste disposal does not require separate product manufacturing license
Public Notice List
Agreed to Invite stakeholders and members of the public to sign-up to receive notification of meetings, documents and other matters of interest.


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