Massachusetts citizens seeking to exercise local control over the emboldened and aggressive commercial marijuana industry are seeking clear information on how they may act under the evolving law and developing regulations. In addition to publishing their 107-page draft regulations for public comment, the Cannabis Control Commission has issued this Guidance Document.
It takes a long time to get to the “Opt-Out” guidance for communities wishing to avoid a new State mandate that they must host commercial marijuana establishments. The guidance initially spends a lot of time detailing all the different ways that marijuana WILL BE produced, sold, and transported through our communities. While the marijuana compromise law of July 2017 is characterized as having added limits and restrictions on local control, this document is further evidence that the industry is dominating this process, placing marijuana-industry interests above the community norms which would discourage drug use.
There are a number of ways that local control needs to be strengthened. The notion that communities cannot restrict medical marijuana companies from converting to recreational commercial operations in place prior to July 2017 is of grave concern. It would enshrine the bait and switch tactics of the marijuana industry into law, tying the hands of people sympathetic to “medicinal” marijuana, but opposed to commercial marijuana. These companies came to towns pleading to help the sick. But now they get to cash in on commercial pot.
The Opt-Out guidance, referred to as a ban, still refers to requiring a generic bylaw or ordinance (simple majority), not to a zoning bylaw (super majority.) Towns and cities are confused by that, and some have supported bans by less than 66%, but more than 50%. Continue reading MA CCC Guidance for Municipalities in Consideration of Adult Marijuana Commercialization