Nearly a year ago, Massachusetts voters chose to make recreational cannabis legal statewide. In December of 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation that extended the start date of recreational weed sales to July of 2018. And just over a month ago, the Cannabis Control Commission was appointed by Governor Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and state treasurer Deb Goldberg. The board consists of four opponents of cannabis legalization (Steven Hoffman, Jennifer Flanagan, Britte McBride, and Kay Doyle) and one proponent (Shaleen Title).
In a discussion with Tom Angell of Forbes on the duties of the commission, Shaleen Title said, “This entails setting up regulations for the new industry and a licensing process for cultivation, manufacturing, retail and testing, as well as policy development around things like edibles, packaging and advertising. Our deadline under the law is to begin accepting applications by April 1, 2018.” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2017/09/18/exclusive-meet-massachusettss-pro-legalization-marijuana-regulator/#17efeb3c2750)
While some may argue that recreational cannabis sales should have started this past summer, some could also argue that the extra year of preparation will give people in Massachusetts adequate time to maximize their roles in the market from day one. When it comes to cannabis, the state of Massachusetts is at a yellow light. And no matter how often we see someone speed up to make it onto Route 18 thirty seconds faster, yellow means yield and green means go. And so, now is the time for Massachusetts to yield to cannabis; to check mirrors, use signals, and survey the roads. Because come July 2018, green means go.
#1- The Cannabis Control Commission must establish and share regulations by March 15,2018
One of the first and most important steps in the logistical process of establishing recreational cannabis in Massachusetts is implementing law and order. This is the overall mission of the newly appointed Cannabis Control Commission, who are working with the cannabis advisory board and the Commonwealth to build the skeleton of the industry. Areas of discussion within the board will involve policies pertaining to cannabis edibles, packaging, advertising, and licensing of cultivation, retail, testing, and manufacturing facilities.
While it is important for the Cannabis Control Commission to ensure that eventual business owners are able to conduct effective business, it is of vital importance to ensure regulations place the safety and well-being of consumers as a priority. The deadline for the commission to establish these regulations is March 15th, 2018.