“Public meetings will return to a hybrid format, open to the public both in person and online.”
We really try to avoid dumping on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission more than we need to. Between a slew of mini-scandals and updates to regulations they’re in the middle of making in addition to processing applications and regulating current licensees, the agency has its hands full.
With that said, it’s still our responsibility to impugn the CCC, while licensees and applicants also need to keep tabs on the Worcester-based body. But that’s been pretty difficult since they made their meetings completely remote at first during the height of the pandemic, and then only brought commissioners back in the room but left the in-person ban on press and the public in place.
The ban even caught the attention of Boston Business Journal in February, and became a particular point of concern for stakeholders over the past few months. Adding to the lack of transparency, some recent CCC meetings have ended early so that members could discuss personnel and leadership issues in executive sessions. On those occasions, the CCC live stream ended abruptly.
But as of this week, the public is invited back into the room. As the CCC announced, “Starting May 11, Commission public meetings will return to a hybrid format, open to the public both in person and online. The in-person portion will be held at Commission headquarters located at Union Station, 2 Washington Square, Worcester.”
“All public meetings will continue to be livestreamed via Microsoft Teams” for those who can’t make it in person, but “for those who plan to attend a public meeting in person,” the CCC has issued the following general guidelines:
- Doors to the Commission’s public meeting room will open at 9:45 a.m.
- The capacity of the public meeting room is 78 people.
- Attendees will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.
- Once the meeting room is at capacity, additional constituents will not be permitted to enter the Commission’s public meeting space and will be asked to join the meeting online.
- To accommodate as many interested parties as possible, the Commission encourages attendees who occupy the public meeting room to only do so during the time that they have business on the agenda.
- Commission public meeting agendas typically do not include public comment. Separate listening sessions may be scheduled for constituents to testify on specified topics.
- Eating and drinking are not allowed in the meeting room.
- All cell phones should be silenced during the meeting.
- As is common practice with government buildings, there will be a police officer onsite to maintain public safety and order as needed.
- Staff cannot accommodate walk-in visitors to Commission offices.
The full CCC meeting schedule can be found here.