Cannabis Control Commission approves draft regulations for Massachusetts marijuana industry

They must finalize regulations by March 15

Steven J. Hoffman-Chariman, Jennifer Flanagan, Britte McBride, Kay Doyle, Shaleen Title (Courtesy: Mass.gov)

BOSTON (WWLP) — State marijuana regulators are one step closer to setting regulations for the recreational pot industry in Massachusetts.

The Cannabis Control Commission voted to approve dozens of draft regulations Thursday for licensing, consumption and rules for marijuana establishments. But before they become law, the group plans to give the public a chance to comment on the regulations.

Voters legalized recreational marijuana back in November 2016. But pot shops won’t open in Massachusetts until July of next year.

The Cannabis Control Commission is laying down the framework for shop licensing policies and other marijuana regulations.

“I just want to emphasize, these are draft regulations that we’re voting on over the next few days,” said the commission’s Chair Steven Hoffman. “Once the vote is done, they will be published for the public by the end of the month.”

Several Massachusetts cities and towns, including East Longmeadow, have already set zoning restrictions for recreational marijuana, or banned pot shops within city limits. But residents could be able to get around the bans.

There’s a draft regulation that would allow licensed pot retailers to deliver products directly to your home.

22News asked Hoffman if the regulation could spark tension in communities that banned pot shops.

“I think it’s an issue we need to work with communities. We’ve always said that our job is not to tell communities what to do, but to collaborate with them and help them understand what their rights are,” Hoffman told 22News.

The commission plans to hold public hearings around the state in early March.

They must finalize regulations by March 15, as set by the state’s marijuana law.