Prince Lobel’s Public Comments on the Cannabis Control Commission’s Draft Delivery Regulations

Firm News · October 19, 2020

October 15, 2020

Cannabis Control Commission

Attn: Director of Constituent Services

2 Washington Square

Worcester, MA 01604

Commission@CCCMass.com

 

Re: Draft Delivery Regulations – Public Comment

 

Dear Cannabis Control Commission:

On behalf of our Cannabis clients, the Prince Lobel Cannabis Team thanks you, and specifically Commissioner McBride and her writing team, for the careful and thorough draft of the most recent delivery regulations. To that end, we respectfully offer the following comments:

  1.   We believe that allowing marijuana delivery licensees to deliver to consumers in all municipalities is consistent with governing law. In this, we agree with the staff memo, dated October 18, 2018, opining that municipalities cannot prevent deliveries to consumers within their borders, citing “[n]o city or town shall prohibit the transportation of marijuana or marijuana products or adopt an ordinance or by-law that makes the transportation of marijuana or marijuana products unreasonably impracticable.” M.G.L. c. 94G, § 33(c). In addition to a delivery licensee’s host community or a so-called “Yes” community (whether or not a retailer is operational), Section 500.145(1)(l) allows deliveries to:

Any municipality which after receiving notice from the Commission, has notified the Commission that delivery may operate within its borders (or “opts-in”).If the Commission is not going to require deliveries in all municipalities, the Commission should amend the regulation to require that municipalities must perform the “opt-in” procedure within a certain period of time; or otherwise amend the regulation so that if an undecided or “No” municipality remains silent, they will automatically be placed in the “yes” to deliveries category on the CCC’s running list. Currently, there are 190 “Yes” communities, leaving the rest undecided or having banned marijuana within their borders. Requiring municipalities to opt-in by a certain date will provide more certainty to the process.

2.  It is clear that both delivery license types are considered retail licenses for control purposes (i.e. an entity can only hold up to three wholesale delivery licenses or three limited delivery licenses or three retailer licenses or any combination of those). However, the definition of Marijuana Wholesale Delivery License or Wholesale Delivery Licensee in Section 500.002 provides that:

  • “an entity authorized to Wholesale and Warehouse Finished Marijuana Products … shall not be considered to be a Marijuana Retailer under 935 CMR 500.002: Definitions or 935 CMR 500.050: Marijuana Establishments and shall be subject to 935 CMR 500.050 (1)(b): Control Limitations.

Whereas the “limited” delivery license definition does not include the final phrase, “shall not be considered to be a Marijuana Retailer under 935 CMR 500.002: Definitions or 935 CMR 500.050: Marijuana Establishments and shall be subject to 935 CMR 500.050 (1)(b): Control Limitations.”

Since many municipalities have already reached their retail cap, and for the sake of consistency, the limited delivery definition should include the qualifying language contained at the end of the wholesale delivery definition, unless the Commission intends to include limited delivery licenses in a municipalities’ cap on retail establishments, but exclude wholesale delivery licenses.[1]

3.  There is a similar inconsistency regarding the signage on Marijuana Transporter vehicles and Delivery vehicles:

    • “Any vehicle used to transport Marijuana Products may not bear any markings indicating that the vehicle is being used to transport Marijuana Products, and any such vehicle may not indicate the name of the Marijuana Establishment or the Marijuana Transporter.” Section 500.105 (13)(c).
    • “Vehicles used for delivery by a Delivery Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall have no external markings, words or symbols that indicate the vehicle is being used for home delivery of Delivery Items.” Section 500.145 (6)(d).

If the intention is to treat them the same, it would be preferable to use the same language.

4.  While this may be beyond the scope of Public Comment, there have been discussions regarding how to term these two delivery license types. One possible solution would be to use more descriptive terms such as:

    • “Courier Delivery License” as opposed to Limited Delivery License and
    • “Warehouse Delivery License” as opposed to Wholesale Delivery License (noting that “warehouse” more accurately describes where the products are coming from, rather than the fact that they were purchased wholesale).

5.  Finally, once equity goals are met, the Commission should consider allowing marijuana retailers to obtain delivery endorsements, as opposed to requiring a separate delivery license. In fact, we believe that the statutory definition requires permitting a marijuana retailer to deliver:

  • “‘Marijuana retailer’, an entity licensed to purchase and deliver marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana establishments and to deliver, sell or otherwise transfer marijuana and marijuana products to marijuana establishments and to consumers.” M.G.L. c. 94G, § 1.

Again, thank you for your commitment to drafting clear and comprehensive delivery regulations and we hope that the Commission takes these comments into consideration. Please feel free to reach out to me, or anyone on our Cannabis Team[2], if you have any questions whatsoever.

Yours truly,

Jill M. Schafer

Direct Dial: 617-456-8142
Email Address: jschafer@PrinceLobel.com

cc:

Commissioners:

Steven J. Hoffman

Jennifer Flanagan

Britte McBride

Shaleen Title

 

Prince Lobel Tye LLP:

Cannabis Team

Craig M. Tateronis

 

[1] “A Marijuana Retailer may purchase, transport, sell, Repackage, or otherwise Transfer Marijuana or Marijuana Products to Marijuana Establishments and sell to Consumers. A Marijuana Retailer cannot deliver Marijuana or Marijuana Products to Consumers or unless the Marijuana Retailer also has been issued a Delivery License, nor may a Marijuana Retailer allow on-site social consumption by Consumers on the Premises of the Marijuana Establishment, provided that a Retail Licensee’s interests in Marijuana Wholesale Delivery Licenses shall be limited to a combined total of three licenses in either category of Retail or Marijuana Wholesale Delivery.” 500.050 (8)(a).

[2] Co-chairs, John F. Bradley and Michael Ross; Julie Barry, John Bateman, Serge Bechade, Adam Braillard, William Burke, Daniel Glissman, Joy Karugu, Joseph P. Messina, Robert Schlein, Ricardo M. Sousa, Joseph S. Sano, John Lawler and Ashley Tan.

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