Cannabis & the Law

We have developed this blog specifically to track the creation of the regulatory framework for the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and provide insight on legal issues of concern to potential operators.

2022 has been a rollercoaster of a year for the cannabis industry. On the upside, several states have passed legislation to either permit adult use or permit a medical marijuana program. Federally, simple possession cannabis offenses have been pardoned and legislation was passed to allow for research into cannabis. On the downside, the industry has been in a slump as the market gets more crowded and investor streams are drying up. Below is a breakdown…
As of today – June 15, 2021 – the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.  Although the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”) has issued bulletins and administrative orders that temporarily extend telehealthvirtual community outreach meeting and curbside operations protocols until September 1, 2021, the balance of the Commission’s COVID-19 related protocols have expired.  This may have important implications for Marijuana Establishment Licensees. For example, although the Commission may have…
Vape product sellers face a new legal landscape after Congress recently expanded the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (“PACT”) Act to cover vaping devices. The amendments to the PACT Act came in the waning days of 2020 as a little noticed addition to a consolidated budget and Covid-19 relief bill. The requirements of the PACT Act now apply to all Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS”, which are defined as: “any electronic device that, through an…
There has been a significant amount of political punditry over the last several months about an electoral “Blue Wave” coming this November. President Trump is at historical lows of job approval and favorability and much of today’s public polling points towards a Democratic sweep at the ballot box in two weeks’ time. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, the online data and analytical website, former Vice President Biden has an 87% chance of winning the Presidency;…
Spurred by Commissioner Kay Doyle, the Cannabis Control Commission has solicited public comments on whether it should dismantle the vertical integration model for Marijuana Treatment Centers in the Commonwealth.  In a formal public notice dated August 11, 2020, the Commission explains that it will be considering whether to allow vertically-integrated MTCs to, subject to existing licensing caps, apply for certain adult-use endorsements, including cultivation, marijuana product manufacturing, or retail endorsements, which are not available to…
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has published an ambitious regulatory update of both adult use regulations at 935 CMR 500.000, medical marijuana establishment regulations at 935 CMR 501.000, and co-located adult-use and medical-use marijuana regulations at 935 CMR 500.000.  The CCC is holding a virtual public hearing on August 3, 2020 at 10:00 AM, and accepting written comments on the regulations up through August 14, 2020 at 5:00 PM. The draft regulations touch upon a…
The Boston Cannabis Board on June 24, 2020 held a virtual public meeting addressing the current state of adult use marijuana licensing in the City of Boston.  Established by a City Council ordinance in November 2019, the Board was intended to bring additional clarity and transparency to cannabis licensing in Boston.  Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce stated that the Board sought to ensure a “clear, predictable, and transparent process” for businesses seeking a license, and to ensure…
On May 15th the House of Representatives approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). This bill included the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2020 which would exempt financial institutions from Federal prosecution for providing services to cannabis-related businesses legally operating under their respective states’ laws. If passed, the bill would promote access to financial services by prohibiting Federal banking regulators from penalizing or taking any adverse…
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced today that Massachusetts adult-use cannabis retail stores will be allowed to re-open for curbside pickup beginning on Memorial Day.  The announcement was a part of the Governor’s comprehensive plan for re-opening businesses across the Commonwealth, which includes mandatory workplace safety standards, sector-specific protocols, and a phased approach to reopening businesses. Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan allows retail businesses of all types to conduct curbside pickup beginning on Memorial…
When Maine enacted the Marijuana Legalization Act in 2018 the legislature included one of the most stringent residency requirements in the nation.  In order to obtain a license, an applicant had to be majority owned by individuals who were Maine residents for the past four years.  Earlier this week Maine’s Attorney General conceded that the residency requirement was likely unconstitutional and Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy announced that it would no longer enforce the requirement.…