Final Administrative Order Allowing Virtual Web-Based Community Outreach Meetings | August 30, 2021
Administrative Order No. 2
Issued: April 27, 2020
Amended: June 14, 2021
Amended: August 30, 2021
Effective: September 1, 2021
Applicants for licensure pursuant to 935 Code Mass. Regs. § 500.000
Applicants for licensure pursuant to 935 Code Mass. Regs. § 501.000
FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER ALLOWING VIRTUAL WEB-BASED COMMUNITY OUTREACH MEETINGS
M.G.L. c. 94G, M.G.L. c. 94I
935 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 500.105, 500.110, and 500.140 and
935 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 501.105, 501.110, and 501.140
The Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), acting through its Executive Director, amends its Administrative Order No. 2 (“Final Administrative Order”) in response to the end of Governor Charles D. Baker’s Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19 issued on March 10, 2020 (“Emergency Order”), and in accordance with M.G.L. 94I, M.G.L. c. 94G, and the applicable medical- and adult-use regulations, 935 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 500.00 and 501.000. Notwithstanding the recission of Governor Baker’s Emergency Order on June 15, 2021, the Commission, through this Final Administrative Order, is extending license applicants’ use of virtual Community Outreach Meetings for a limited period of time.
Entities that conduct a Community Outreach Meeting in accordance with Administrative Order No. 2 as amended shall be deemed compliant for the purposes of applying for licensure. Under this extension, applicants may host virtual meetings already scheduled and until the date this amended Final Administrative Order expires in order to provide for the public health, safety, and welfare of consumers and patients who are unable to attend in-person gatherings.
The Commission, acting through its Executive Director, hereby ORDERS as follows:
- Applicants may hold a Community Outreach Meeting via virtual, web-based means. The technology, including public interaction capabilities, shall be tested at least once prior to the date of the meeting.
- The applicant shall follow all accessibility requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Accessibility Guidelines. This shall include, but is not limited to, closed captioning. The applicant may wish to liaise with the host community’s ADA coordinator.
- The applicant shall obtain approval in writing from the Contracting Authority or Authorized Representative of the host community for a virtual Community Outreach Meeting.
- The applicant shall ensure full notice of the meeting in accordance with 935 Code Mass. Regs. § 101(1)(a)9. or 935 Code Mass. Regs. § 501.101(1)(a)9.
- The applicant shall provide in the notice instructions for how to join and participate in the meeting. In addition to English, the applicant may choose to provide instructions in any additional language common to the host community.
- The applicant shall accept questions submitted in advance, which the applicant shall respond to during the meeting. The applicant shall detail how to submit questions in the notice.
- The applicant shall post on a publicly accessible website all meeting materials at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
- The applicant shall enable communication that allows for engagement, questions, and other interaction between the applicant and residents of the host community.
- The applicant shall designate a meeting moderator who shall not be associated with the applicant but may be associated with the host community. The moderator shall allow any meeting participant to offer questions or comments and allow for follow-up questions.
- The applicant shall submit to the Commission as an attachment to their license application the number of participants attending the meeting.
- The applicant shall submit to the Commission a recording of the meeting as an attachment to their license application.
- The applicant shall submit a recording of the meeting to the host community in a form or manner conducive for replay on local cable access or other broadcast means at the host community’s discretion.
- Except for holding an in-person meeting, the applicant shall comply with all other requirements of 935 Code Mass. Regs. §101(1)(a)9. or 935 Code Mass. Regs. § 501.101(1)(a)9. and Guidance for Applicants on Community Outreach.
Administrative Order No. 2 as amended shall take effect on September 1, 2021, at 12:00 A.M.
Administrative Order No. 2 as amended shall remain in effect until April 1, 2022, or the date the Commission rescinds or amends this order, whichever occurs first. The Commission may amend or modify this Final Administrative Order as applicable to one applicant, a group of applicants, or all Commission applicants.
Applicants must comply with all terms of this Final Administrative Order and may not pursue further exemption under 935 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 500.850 and/or 501.850: Waivers from the requirements described in this amended Final Administrative Order. Failure to comply with the above conditions may result in disciplinary action against the applicant, including but not limited to, denial of licensure.
Nothing herein should be construed as precluding or limiting the Commission’s authority to take additional administrative action to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
Questions about this order may be directed in writing to the above address, by phone (774-415-0200) Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., or by email at Commission@CCCMass.com.
Signed this 30th day of August 2021.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
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