State House News Service Reporter Chris Linski provided great wire coverage of the CCC’s decision to eliminate the existing social consumption pilot program and focus on long-term, statewide, comprehensive regulations, excerpted below from The Boston Globe but also appearing on WWLP, the Berkshire Eagle, and elsewhere.
Here’s an excerpt:
Marijuana regulators voted Monday to scrap years-old plans that called for rolling out cannabis cafés and other social consumption sites with a 12-municipality pilot program, a step that one official said could bring that voter-approved segment of the industry online “a little quicker.”
Nine months after a new state law outlined a process for cities and towns to authorize on-site consumption of marijuana products, the Cannabis Control Commission pivoted away from past regulations that would have constrained the launch to a dozen cities and towns…
Stebbins said if the CCC received more than 12 applicants for the pilot program, the commission could wind up “in the position of having to reject a community’s application.”
“We would also be limiting a community’s ability to adopt social consumption as an integral part of their municipal equity plan,” he said.
Concepcion, who voted in favor of eliminating the pilot program, later told reporters that it’s “too early” to tell if regulators will impose a limit on the number of social consumption licenses in the final regulations.
The group Equitable Opportunities Now, which seeks to empower people of color in the recreational marijuana industry, previously called on regulators to move toward a “comprehensive, equitable, safe and healthy onsite consumption licensing and regulatory framework” instead of a pilot program.
“We appreciate Commissioners Camargo and Stebbins’ leadership on this issue and the thoughtful discussion of the full Commission and look forward to working together to ensure that this exciting new license type creates meaningful opportunities for communities most harmed by the war on drugs,” said EON Policy Co-chair Armani White.