According to this recent article in the Boston Globe, last week the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted 4-1 in favor of allowing delivery of marijuana products to residential properties across the state. The Commission will consider the issue further during a public comment period before conducting a final vote on the comprehensive delivery regulations.
The Commission does not view this program simply as a way to make marijuana more accessible, but also as a way to assist with the Commission’s economic empowerment and social equity programs. For at least two years, delivery licenses would only go to participants in the empowerment and social equity programs. The empowerment program reduces the license application time for companies that are either led by, employ, or benefit members of communities that had high rates of drug arrests, and the equity program is designed to provide technical training to individuals who were arrested for drug crimes or are a close relative of someone who was, or who come from a community with a high rate of arrest for drug crimes. “Exclusive access to lower-cost licenses will allow prospective entrepreneurs who aren’t necessarily well-connected or privileged with unlimited resources to have a fair chance,” Commissioner Shaleen Title said after the vote.
The proposal does not have support of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, although Governor Baker does not have veto power over the Commission’s decision. Governor Baker fears that marijuana delivery will “drive up marijuana consumption rates, result in sales to minors under 21, and lead to diversion of products to the illicit market.” Other provisions appear to address those concerns, however. Those provisions include requiring consumers to visit a retail marijuana store to present a valid ID to register as a delivery customer, requiring drivers to double check the ID upon delivery and requiring the customer to sign a manifest, tracking delivery vehicles with GPS, using the commission’s “seed-to-sale” tracking software to track deliveries from the vehicle to the door, and requiring two delivery drivers for all deliveries.
If the Commission gives it final approval, Massachusetts would join Oregon, California, and D.C. as places where recreational marijuana is only a phone call away.