Adult-Use Cannabis Retailers Now Open In Massachusetts
As of May 25, 2020, adult-use cannabis retailers in Massachusetts can reopen with precautionary procedures in accordance with Governor Baker’s Order Implementing a Phased Reopening of Workplaces and Imposing Workplace Safety Measures to Address COVID-19.
The Cannabis Control Commission rescinded the order that temporarily paused adult-use cannabis sales in line with the Governor’s previous essential services and revised gatherings order. A new, amended administrative order has been implemented that enables marijuana establishments (MEs) and colocated marijuana operators (CMOs), which serve patients and adult consumers, to utilize curbside operations along with medical marijuana treatment centers (MTCs). Since the commission first authorized MTCs to implement the practice on March 27, 32 MTCs have started offering the service in the Commonwealth. Forty-four adult-use marijuana retailers, including 14 adult-use only businesses, were able to adopt curbside operations.
“The Cannabis Control Commission, with the cooperation of licensees, municipalities, and most importantly, registered qualifying patients, has demonstrated that we are effectively able to preserve public health and safety through curbside operations and other emergency protocols,” said Executive Director Shawn Collins.
Under the commission’s amended administrative order, all licensees are able to add sales by phone or electronic means, and transfer marijuana and marijuana products in the parking area of their premises or to an individual at the entrance to the facility. In the interest of public safety, cash payments will only be accepted inside. When practicing curbside operations, agents must first verify the age of the patient, caregiver or customer, plus the registration status and medical marijuana allotment of a patient or caregiver, before they complete a purchase.
Similar to the requirements for entering a medical dispensary or retail establishment, agents are prohibited from conducting a transaction in which any individuals under the age of 21 are present who are not registered with the Commonwealth’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program. Video camera coverage of all areas where marijuana is handled or dispensed is still required.
All licensees must submit to the commission standard operating procedures for curbside operations within 48 hours of commencing, including an updated facility layout identifying designated curbside sales area, traffic queuing plans, and signage to direct patients and customers. They also must notify municipalities, including police and health officials, of their plans, and maintain compliance with their host community agreement and all other applicable local rules, regulations, ordinances, and by-laws of their city or town while offering curbside operations.
Prior to May 25, 2020, the commission’s final cease and desist order established workplace safety and social distancing requirements for businesses that reopen brick-and-mortar premises. Along with a phased return to adult-use cultivator and product manufacturing operations, independent testing laboratories were permitted to accept adult-use samples prior to May 25 in order to ensure inventory was lab tested prior to sale as required under state law.
The commission remains a resource for licensees to ensure compliance with the Administration’s orders, the agency’s regulations, and any new bulletins that may continue to be released during the state of emergency. A repository of commission guidance related to COVID-19 is available at MassCannabisControl.com/COVID19.
For more information, visit MassCannabisControl.Com, contact the Commission by phone (774-415-0200) or email ([email protected]), or follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.