Dispensary Owners Fight New Delivery License Rule in Massachusetts

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An organization that represents most of Massachusetts’ cannabis dispensaries is suing the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to invalidate new regulations that create a new category of businesses allowed to deliver recreational cannabis directly to consumers—arguably taking away their power to deliver under existing licenses.

The recently-reformed Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) opposed the new regulations last year and recently filed a lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court asking a judge to void the regulations.

“Simply, the CCC overstepped its authority and disregarded state law, radically upending the established rules that hundreds of small businesses and their host communities operated in accordance with since 2016,” the CDA said in a statement.

The association is concerned that the new delivery-only license types violate the state’s cannabis law, which they believe already gives the retailers the right to deliver cannabis under their existing licenses.

WBUR reports that CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman was convinced that the commission has a solid case if the CDA carried out its threat to sue to overturn the commission’s 3-1 vote to approve the new rules.

“That’s certainly their prerogative to do so. We made what we thought was the right decision, one that we stand by,” Hoffman told reporters about the threat from the CDA immediately after the CCC approved its regulations on Nov. 30. “We’re fully prepared to defend ourselves if that happens, but that is certainly outside of my control and outside of the commission’s control.”

The new regulations create two delivery license types including a “Marijuana Delivery Operator” that can purchase products wholesale from growers and manufacturers and sell them to their own customers, and a “Marijuana Courier” that can charge a fee to deliver from CCC-licensed retailers and dispensaries.

The lawsuit may force the CCC to defend its policies, despite many members having no say-so in the matter.

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