Cannabis Control Commission Completes First Phase of Work & Outlines December Timelines
Statewide Listening Sessions Generate Hundreds of Public Comments; Draft Regulations expected to be debated and filed in December for Public Comment in the New Year and Survey Announced to inform the Cannabis Equity Program
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CNB), today released a summary of information gathered during the Statewide Listening Sessions that began on October 2, 2017. The five member commission split up across the Commonwealth to hear concerns and feedback from residents and individuals interested in this new industry, including businesses, stakeholders, and elected officials, that will be most impacted by the new laws and regulations.
“We appreciate the time and thoughtfulness of all those who came out to share ideas and comments that will help shape the future of this new industry in our Commonwealth,” Steven Hoffman, Chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission said. “Our mission now is to make sure we reflect those concerns and suggestions in our draft regulations that will be presented to the public later this winter.”
The eight statewide sessions held in Roxbury, Martha’s Vineyard, Barnstable, Pittsfield, Worcester, Holyoke, and two in Downtown Boston gave more than 150 speakers the opportunity to record their comments for the public record and articulate directly to the Commission their concerns and ideas for this new industry. The geographic areas were chosen based on some of the complexities associated with their regions including transportation challenges and bordering states concern. The Commission also received through electronic mail nearly three hundred comments and also forty hand delivered or mailed letters. The comments reflected several key areas including: Public Health, Industry Composition and Structure, Equity for Disproportionately Impacted Communities, Regulations, Public Safety, Roll-Out, Role of Municipalities, and Medical Marijuana.
The Commission will now begin their second phase of work, already underway, collaborating with the twenty-five member Cannabis Advisory Board to draft the regulations necessary for implementation of these new laws. Outlined today was an agenda for discussing the draft regulations and filing of those drafts before the end of December. The public will again have a chance for public comment as draft regulations are presented statewide, in the new year, prior to final regulations being promulgated, which is required by March 15, 2018.
Today’s meeting also included a vote to approve the job descriptions for three key Commission positions, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Human Resources Director, and Chief Technology Officer. An announcement was made to conduct a survey helping to inform the work of the Commission in establishing pathways for individuals to move from the unregulated market to the legal regulated market. Equitable Opportunities Now, will be conducting the survey to protect confidentiality of participants and they will partner with community groups across the Commonwealth, to identify participants, collect data about the backgrounds and needed assistance of those in the unregulated market.
Other businesses discussed was a timeline for draft regulation filing and public meetings, Key Performance Indicators for the work of the Commission and of licensing and tracking technology system specifications and the procurement process of those functions.
* Next meeting of the Cannabis Control Commission is Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:30am 21st Floor One Ashburton Place
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