Changes for medical use and deliveries are to take effect.
The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) approved new medical and adult-use regulations on November 30. The terms, which include policies relating to medical use of marijuana and a delivery plan, are expected to improve the industry and the way that cannabis is used, according to CCC commissioner Shaleen Title.
“This was our most recent set of regulations, and it allowed us to move past the basic setup to addressing some of the more complex questions, in particular delivery and medical access for patients,” said Title. “I think these were overall a huge improvement and a huge focus on equity and patient access.
The biggest change, she explained, is that medical caregivers may look after up to five patients, where as before, it was one. This will allow them to serve more patients. Patients may also reimburse their caregivers for their documented expenses, though they cannot pay them for their time or turn a profit. In addition, the CCC is aiming to make the industry more diverse and inclusive, by waving delivery application and license fees for Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants and Social Equity Program participants in their first year of licensure.
Another bold change is that prior to the passing of the regulations, cannabis could only be delivered to homes for patients. Now, the regulations have created two types of delivery licenses. According to an article by WCVB, these are marijuana couriers, who can charge a fee to make deliveries from a dispensary to a customer, and marijuana delivery operators, who can “buy wholesale products and make deliveries from their own warehouse.”
Title said that she expects the landscape to be impacted by the new regulations.
“The introduction of delivery is a significant change, and I think it’s coming at exactly the right time, with the pandemic,” said Title. “In general, as the industry matures, there will be more competition and more innovation, which is good for the industry and good for consumers, who will have more choice. They’ll be able to decide what values and products they want to support with their dollars.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.