Marijuana can now be delivered right to your doorstep in Massachusetts thanks to marijuana regulators and their newly established rules in the state.
Feature photo source: Unsplash
Marijuana enthusiasts in Massachusetts are happy because marijuana has been added to the list of goods that can be delivered right to one’s home.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission met virtually on Monday to seal the deal.
The commission voted 3-1 to approve the revised rules for the industry that now allows for home delivery of marijuana.
Licenses Approved By The MCCC
The Massachusetts regulatory commission approved two different license classes including marijuana couriers and marijuana delivery operators.
Marijuana delivery operators are third-party operators that transport purchases from established dispensaries
The approved revised rules also include a new license for standalone marijuana delivery companies with their own warehouse of products.
This means delivery companies can buy their own wholesale inventory and store it in a warehouse. This way, consumers can buy directly from them instead of having them deliver another store’s goods.
How Does The Marijuana Home Delivery Option In Massachusetts Work?
Think of it like regular home delivery when you shop online for food or products. Simply order online and it gets delivered, only that this delivery will be a bit more strict.
Marijuana is delivered to one’s doorstep by a courier but it has some strict regulations.
The buyer has to have visited the dispensary prior to first order to confirm their identity and age.
Customers have to confirm their age and identity again before their order is handed over during the delivery. Delivery companies are legally required to give the order to the specific person who placed it.
Deliveries made past 9 p.m. will also be termed illegal as per the terms of the rules.
Extension of Time For Applicants in Their Equity Programs
Applicants in their equity programs will have access to both delivery licenses. These will only be available for a minimum of three years.
While the new rules do allow dispensaries to own up to two delivery licenses, the exclusivity period effectively means that most wouldn’t be able to until at least 2024.
“These regulations are a major step towards the equitable cannabis industry that was envisioned by voters and lawmakers when they established the adult-use cannabis market in Massachusetts,” said David O’Brien, the president of the Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association, which represents a wide swath of the industry players.
What Was Phased Out
The MCCC phased out 935 CMR 502, Colocated Adult-Use and Medical-Use Marijuana Operations, after bringing sufficient parity to the medical- and adult-use regulations.
Previous Rules Embedded
The only adult-use marijuana delivery allowed initially was for third-party operators. They were allowed to transport purchases from established dispensaries. Additionally, they were like food delivery platforms, but with far more restrictions.
Massachusetts’ Existing Marijuana Dispensaries Voice Their Concerns
MCCC’s landmark decision has already faced its share of backlash barely a day after it was passed.
The Commonwealth Dispensary Association are the biggest opponents of the CCC’s decision and plan to challenge it in court.
“This will not be the final word on delivery,” the Commonwealth Dispensary Association said in a statement Monday.
What Prompted The Legislative Adjustments?
The members of the commission acknowledged that a home delivery option would save on costs thus enhancing inclusion in the state.
More people could benefit directly from the billion-dollar business as it requires fewer upfront costs than a full-fledged store.
CCC Commissioner Britte McBride said, “Marijuana is here, has been here, and it’s not going away. Illegal delivery services are openly competing against licensed, regulated, taxpaying businesses, and that demands our response.”
Massachusetts Marijuana Sales Exceed $1 Billion Since Adult-Use Sales Launched
This legislative move comes just a month after it was reported that marijuana sales in Massachusetts had exceeded the $1 billion mark. Adult-use sales were launched just under two years ago.
CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said in a press release that this “sales milestone represents licensees’ ability to successfully support a safe, accessible, and effective adult-use industry, and I am pleased the resulting tax benefits will have a significant impact on communities throughout the Commonwealth.”
“These numbers also speak to Commission licensing and enforcement staff working around the clock to make sure these businesses and their products comply with all of our regulations, especially the health and safety provisions,” he said. “Each year, as this marketplace matures, the public will continue to see progress on state mandates and Commission objectives, including our commitment to equity, and the steps we have taken in 2020 are evidence of that.”