Mass Bill Would Establish Internal Audit Unit Within Cannabis Control Commission

“Shall monitor the quality, efficiency and integrity of the commission’s operations, including but not limited to …”

Thanks to Spectrum 1 News in Worcester and to activist-writer Grant Smith Ellis for pointing out that state Sen. Michael Moore of Worcester “filed a bill to have a unit from the inspector general’s office make sure the Cannabis Control Commission is not abusing its authority.”

The initiative stems from the lawmaker’s observations of bureaucratic red tape and logjams hindering progress. As Spectrum 1 reported, “Moore has received reports about issues with how the commission investigates complaints and hands out licenses, more specifically, the timeline in which they do so,” and “said some retailers weren’t able to do business for several months while they were waiting and it almost caused them to close down.”

“Basically right before Thanksgiving, they had to lay off 10 people just before the holidays and all it really had to do was just getting an inspection done,” Moore said about one retailer in an interview with the station. “It was several months dealing with them about something that should have been a very quick and easy process.”

The proposed bill, An Act establishing an internal special audit unit within the Cannabis Control Commission, would establish “an internal special audit unit” with an auditor appointed by the inspector general. By charge, the “internal special audit unit shall monitor the quality, efficiency and integrity of the commission’s operations, including but not limited to, operations… host community agreements, investigation and audit policies and procedures, organizational structure and management functions and seek to prevent, detect and correct fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of public funds.”

Among other duties, the “director shall report and refer instances of fraud, waste or abuse of public funds to the inspector general for investigation.”

So it’s basically more bureaucracy layered on top of bureaucracy for the purpose of lightening the bureaucratic load. It’s pretty clear which entities will fall on either side of this proposal, still it’s probably worth considering if such oversight is needed.

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