Massachusetts Cannabis Retailers Prepare to Sue Over State’s Delivery Rules

Some of Massachusetts’ existing cannabis retailers are prepared to sue over the Cannabis Control Commission’s delivery rules, which, if approved, would allow a new set of cannabis licensees to provide home delivery, according to a WBUR report.

The CCC initially agreed on a framework for cannabis delivery regulations in September, proposing a set of rules that would create two types of delivery licenses: a “limited delivery license” that would allow a licensee to charge a fee to deliver from licensed cannabis dispensaries and a “wholesale delivery license” that would allow a licensee to buy cannabis wholesale from licensed cultivators and manufacturers, store it in a warehouse and sell it to consumers.

The delivery licenses would be available only to social equity applicants and certified economic empowerment applicants for the first three years.

A bipartisan group of Massachusetts lawmakers have voiced opposition to the proposed regulations, saying in a letter to the CCC that that the wholesale delivery license is not supported by the state’s cannabis law.

The CCC approved policy changes to the draft regulations last month, recategorizing the two delivery license types as “Marijuana Courier” and “Marijuana Delivery Operator” licenses and establishing operations restrictions, modified caps on ownership and control, and limits to financial relationships with third-party technology platform providers to help prevent companies from dominating the delivery market.

“Put simply, the Commission’s adoption and implementation of the Proposed Regulation would be in direct contravention of its own governing and enabling statute which clearly and unambiguously states that only Marijuana Retailers, as defined in the statute, are permitted to deliver cannabis products to consumers,” Howard Cooper, an attorney with Todd & Weld LLP, wrote in the letter earlier this month, according to WBUR. “Given the clarity of the law here, please understand that our clients will have no choice but to challenge the Commission’s Proposed Regulations in court if adopted. We write in hope of avoiding a legal dispute.”

CCC Chairman Steve Hoffman has said that the commission feels it has the authority to move forward with its plan to regulate cannabis delivery, WBUR reported. A final vote on the rules, which was initially scheduled for late September, has been postponed until Nov. 30 to allow the CCC to accept additional public comment on the regulations, according to the news outlet.


More Massachusetts Cannabis Retailers Prepare to Sue Over State’s Delivery Rules