Applicants & Licensees / Community Outreach Meeting
Community Outreach Meeting
A critical requirement in the application process is the Community Outreach Meeting. During the meeting, the applicant provides vital information about the proposed Marijuana Establishment (ME) or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MTC) and its potential impacts to the neighborhood and community.
As the Commission continues to implement regulatory changes that were promulgated in January 2021, information contained on these webpages may require updates and/or verification by applicants and licensees in order to maintain compliance. Thank you for your understanding.
Notice: Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures, the Commission authorized an administrative order allowing virtual web-based Community Outreach Meetings. Read the order.
All applicants must submit documentation of their plans to hold a Community Outreach Meeting within six months of filing an application. This documentation must include:
- The notice that the applicant published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing. The notice must contain the following information:
- Subject matter of the meeting
- Proposed address of the Marijuana Establishment (ME) or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MTC)
- A copy of the meeting notice filed with the town or city clerk, the planning board, the contracting authority for the municipality, and local licensing authority for adult use of marijuana, if applicable.
- A copy of the meeting mailed to abutters and other parties of interest identified in the regulations.
- The information presented at the community outreach hearing, which must include:
- The type(s) of Marijuana Establishment to be located at the proposed address.
- Information that describes how the location will be secured.
- Steps to be taken by the Marijuana Establishment to prevent diversion to minors.
- A plan by the Marijuana Establishment to positively impact the community.
- Information to demonstrate that the location will not constitute a nuisance.
- A transcript of questions and answers posed by community members during the meeting.
Location of Meeting
It’s difficult to predict how many people might attend a Community Outreach Meeting. All applicants should consider large assembly spaces, such as a city or town hall or local schools. The space must be accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
At least seven (7) calendar days prior to the proposed meeting, the notice of the meeting must be:
- Mailed to abutters of the proposed address of the Marijuana Establishment, owners of land directly opposite on any public or private street or way, and to the abutters within 300 feet of the property line of the petitioner as they appear on the most recent applicable tax list, notwithstanding that the land of any such owner is located in another city or town. The town or city clerk may be able to assist an applicant with a list of abutters.
At least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the proposed meeting, the notice of the meeting must be:
- Published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town. Check with the newspaper regarding its advertising deadlines.
- Filed with the town or city clerk, the planning board, the contracting authority for the municipality, and local licensing authority for adult use of cannabis, if applicable.
Conducting the Meeting
As an applicant, you may consider asking a respected member of the community, such as a town moderator or other municipal official, to run the meeting as a neutral facilitator. You may wish to consider presenting your proposal first, then allow an opportunity for the public to ask questions. Include visuals, such as renderings of the location, as well as information regarding proposed security measures.
All applicants should be prepared to present and answer the following questions at the community outreach meeting:
- What is the location of the proposed ME or MTC?
- What type of establishment is it—adult use or medical use?
- Is the proposed establishment allowed under current zoning bylaws and ordinances—or is a zoning amendment required?
- Does the proposed establishment require local zoning permitting?
- What permits are required?
- Is there a local licensing regulation pertaining to MEs and MTCs?
- Is there a local board of health regulation pertaining to MEs and MTCs?
- Does the proposed location comply with the 500-foot buffer zone from existing public or private school (K-12) buildings?
- Do local bylaws or ordinance create a smaller buffer zone?
- If the applicant is moving into an existing building or building a new one, will its premises comply with the security requirements required by law?
- What steps will be taken by the establishment to prevent diversion to minors?
- How will the applicant ensure that the location will not constitute a nuisance to the community as defined by law?
- How will the establishment positively impact the community? Has the municipality passed the local tax option (if the applicant is a marijuana retailer)?
- What are the details of the Host Community Agreement?
For More Information
If you have questions about the Community Outreach Meeting, contact the Commission at (774) 415-0200 or Commission@CCCMass.Com.
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The Cannabis Control Commission conducts meetings and other events to keep you informed.
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Sign up for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.