“Program allows cultivators to partner with retailers to present and sell their products at non-storefront locations, including on licensed cannabis farms and at approved events.”
As we have reported feverishly over the past few months, after a dark period in which it didn’t seem that Massachusetts was going to make progress toward licensing social consumption establishments, there has finally been movement.
In April, the Cannabis Control Commission voted to get rid of a pilot program that would have designated only a handful of cities and towns to launch the first social consumption licenses.
Currently, the CCC has a working group that’s fielding information from various parties, including with a series of three listening sessions that wrapped last week. Among their gripes and advice, many respondents have testified that the current regulations in place for social consumption—namely but not limited to restrictions on actually smoking weed in these establishments—are overly restrictive and impediments to hopeful licensees turning a profit.
All while advocates help cut the path, like with the event that Derrell Black of Let’s Talk Weed is hosting in Cambridge this Friday, July 28.
Meanwhile, in neighboring New York, last week regulators took a step into the social consumption realm too. Beyond licensing 212 new Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary applicants—their “single largest increase in retail licensing to date, bringing the total number of CAURD licenses to 463”—the New York State Office of Cannabis Management announced that the Cannabis Control Board greenlit a Cannabis Growers Showcase initiative.
So far, we know the “program allows cultivators to partner with retailers to present and sell their products at non-storefront locations, including on licensed cannabis farms and at approved events.” Also, per NY regulators, the “CGS initiative will be critical to unlocking the backlog of inventory held by our producers while giving consumers across the state, especially those in areas that do not yet have stores, access to our legal products.”
“Today was a milestone day for cannabis in New York, a culmination of months of work to accelerate access to legal cannabis for consumers across the state,” OCM Director of Policy John Kagia wrote in a LinkedIn post. Adding: “Through CGS, #NYcannabis will: expand access to safer products, enable consumers to connect with licensees & protect the two-tier market.”
“We know that these are still the early days in what will be the world’s most consequential cannabis market,” Kagia wrote, “and there’s still much work ahead to do, but the shoots are budding and the future brims with immense opportunity.”
There’s no doubt about it, especially if Massachusetts drags its feet for too much longer.