Testimony On Cannabis Control Commission Oversight Bill Goes National

Photo of Joint Committee On Cannabis Policy from their June hearing

Beacon Hill hearing included story about alleged regulator retaliation against testing lab

Separate from the Cannabis Control Commission’s current work on issues including social consumption, Host Community Agreements, and social equity at the municipal level, Massachusetts lawmakers are also considering a range of bills that could impact the industry—including one that could put new checks and balances in place for the state’s cannabis regulatory agency.

An Act establishing an internal special audit unit within the CCC would establish an “internal special audit unit” to “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.”

Though just a routine hearing of the Joint Committee On Cannabis Policy, Tuesday’s testimonies at the State House reverberated loudly as a result of allegations leveled against the CCC, with the story appearing in several local as well as national outlets.

Michael Kahn, the CEO of MCR Labs, offered emphatic support for the bills that would provide CCC oversight. Back in March, Kahn went public with allegations that the agency retaliated against his company after he made comments about the commission’s many failures on the testing front. His remarks to the joint committee this week echoed testimony he gave on Beacon Hill in June.

“The investigation was then cited by the CCC as an excuse to prevent us from engaging with commissioners regarding consumer safety,” the Boston Herald reported Kahn saying to lawmakers on Tuesday. “I believe CCC enforcement staff may be misusing investigations as a pretext to silence and harass licensees.”

The MCR CEO continued, “I reached out to the CCC with concerns about public health on multiple occasions over the past several years. Instead of listening or taking action, CCC staff, in my opinion, retaliated by opening an investigation into our laboratory.”