With hearings coming up, here’s where the proposed Mass regulations fall short
The draft put forth by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) of its proposed regulations for the industry is a nightmarish vision: stoners who smoke through a lid every three days, robbers lurking in the shadows around stores and dispensaries, delivery drivers making a stop at the local junior high school before driving off for parts unknown.
With two weeks of public hearings coming up in which the public will help drill down the specifics, here are some highlights from the standing proposal:
- Trees and bushes outside marijuana businesses must be trimmed so that nobody can hide behind them. (Surprisingly, dumpsters outside those businesses are not required to be made of transparent materials.)
- Deliveries must be made by two-person teams in an unmarked van with video cameras front and back and a GPS unit in a locked compartment, the key to which must remain back at the store, where someone must monitor the drivers’ location at all times. Upon reaching a delivery address, one person must stay in the truck to hold off attackers while the other rings the customer’s bell empty-handed and demands to be shown an ID before trudging back to the truck to get the goods.
- Marijuana businesses must have two alarm systems installed by different companies as well as video cameras in both storage and sales areas. Businesses that sell both medical and recreational pot must have a “physical barrier” between the two sections to prevent—what exactly? They can only sell you an ounce at a time, and they must have literature available warning customers that weed is illegal on the federal level and advising them on how not to get too stoned. This literature must be available in any language spoken by their customers—potentially some 140 languages—including versions for visually impaired and hearing-impaired customers. (What special printed materials are needed for the hearing-impaired?) All employees, not just owners, must apply to the state for certification and submit to a background check.
- Businesses offering on-site consumption must prevent you from taking any cannabis home, effectively pressuring you to keep consuming when you feel you’ve had enough. They may not allow you to smoke on the premises before October of this year, presumably to avoid starting fires during a long summer drought.
- Hemp must contain less than .3 percent THC so it won’t be sold as marijuana to ditch-weed-loving consumers. Marijuana must not contain a level of contaminants that would harm the average user, who is presumed to be sick and consuming 10 grams (a little more than a third of an ounce) per day.
Who will wake the CCC from these fever dreams? You will. Email the CCC at email@example.com or attend one of the hearings between now and Feb 13 at various locations around the state to tell it what you think of this nonsense. Your pot-smoking future may depend on it.
Andy Gaus is a longtime cannabis advocate and a member of MassCann.
Boston CCC hearing dates:
- Thurs Feb 8 at 1 pm at the McCormack Building (Beacon Hill)
- Tues Feb 13 at 6 pm at the Bolling Municipal Building (Roxbury)