On November 30, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) approved new regulations for home delivery, which will now allow state residents to buy adult-use marijuana without ever having to leave their homes.
However, many dispensaries across the state reacted angrily to the news, and the Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) indicated that it will challenge the new regulations in court. Conversations with retailers in Berkshire County show the complexity of reactions to the issue.
Two important local dispensaries – Canna Provisions and The Pass — are not members of the CDA. Canna Provisions COO and co-founder Erik Williams explained that they see the proposed changes as a big step forward for the industry. “We are not part of the group suing over the changes and are disgusted and perplexed by those who are,” Williams said.
The source of the controversy was the decision by the CCC not to allow brick-and-mortar dispensaries to make their own deliveries for three years, until 2024. In the meantime, the new regulations create two classes of adult-use marijuana delivery licenses — so-called “marijuana couriers” and “marijuana delivery operators.” Marijuana courier license-holders will be allowed to deliver cannabis products to consumers from a retail dispensary for a fee. The more controversial marijuana delivery operators will be allowed to buy wholesale cannabis products from cultivators and make deliveries from their own warehouse without having to operate a retail storefront.
Theory Wellness in Great Barrington has set up a physically distanced tent for customers to pay for pre-orders. Photo: Terry Cowgill
A key factor in the development of these new license types was the desire to increase access to and ownership of the industry by minorities. For three years, the two license types will be available only to social equity and economic empowerment applicants.
“These regulations are a major