On July 22, the Boston Cannabis Board (BCB) adopted new rules and regulations. They state that the BCB’s role is to grant licenses to applicants “for cannabis establishments within the City of Boston while ensuring Licenses are granted in such a manner so as to ensure equity, quality, and community safety.
“Specifically, the BCB is the siting authority for such establishments evaluating the proposed time, place, and manner in which these establishments are approved, open, and operate.”
Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary spoke with Lydia Edwards, councilor of Boston’s District 1, about the rules and regulations, and she shared several points of contention.
The BCB noted in its new rules and regulations that it “does not have the authority or ability to negotiate host community agreements.” However, Edwards said host community agreements (HCAs) should be part of the applications that come before the BCB and should be approved by the board. Those agreements are part of the local approval process that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission mandates in its licensing scheme.
“Negotiations are currently happening “in the dark,” she said. “So, to what end? To whose benefit? The whole point and the spirit of the law and the reform that Councilor [Kim] Janey was trying to put in, was that a public process with people representing the community would be the ones negotiating and finalizing and getting the HCAs done for everyone to see. And instead, they decided to interpret the regulations to allow for a song and dance.”
The BCB also didn’t address in its rules and regulations the topic of potential disparities between people who are granted brick-and-mortar and delivery licenses. The city previously established a 1:1 ratio for granting social equity and other licenses. However, due to the state setting aside delivery licenses to social equity