Massachusetts’s cannabis regulators are moving forward with plans to allow a new form of cannabis delivery, despite pushback from some lawmakers and local cities.
The state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) approved changes that would allow for standalone recreational cannabis retailers without storefronts to deliver products to customers. Massachusetts previously expanded its cannabis delivery rules by dividing delivery licenses in two categories. Cannabis advocates and the CCC believe the new ruling will help compete with black market cannabis businesses and will also help with the state’s goals of promoting small and minority-owned businesses because a delivery business is easier to start than a brick and mortar retail store.
“Consumers want delivery, we wanted delivery for a long time, and equity and economic empowerment businesses are ready to be a significant part of this market,” said Commissioner Shaleen Title. “We as a commission have taken it very seriously since day one…to live up to this mandate to include disproportionately harmed people in the industry and today was another significant step towards that. I’m really looking forward to it becoming reality sometime next year.”
Initially the CCC began accepting applications for a “courier” license for cannabis delivery, but that license only allows for third-party companies to deliver purchases from dispensaries. The new license allows for operators to act as stand alone companies, buying their inventory from wholesale suppliers and storing in their own warehouse. For at least three years both forms of licenses will be available to applicants in the CCC’s equity programs.
Established dispensaries opposed the new delivery license, claiming that they are being cut out.
“I don’t think the commission has done enough analysis to determine the impact on the supply chain and the marketplace,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association.