Imagine having marijuana legally delivered to your house without disturbance from the authorities. How many times a day would you order marijuana? This dream could soon come for Massachusetts residents.
In a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, the Cannabis Control Commission legalized marijuana home delivery services and operation of marijuana restaurants. In a statement, Steven Hoffman, the Cannabis Control Commission Chairman, stated that the vote was based on the need to balance the people’s will with public health and safety concerns.
However, Jennifer Flanagan, the only dissenting vote, said that public health was her major concern. Her worst fears were that this decision could further escalate the already high rate of opioid addiction in the state. “I think we need to streamline this industry, to ensure the cultivation, retail and micro business all get priority before we start to do home delivery and social consumption,” she further added.
In the first two years of implementation, economic empowerment and social equity applicants will be prioritized in the licensing of these new services. People in the neighborhoods highly disenfranchised by the prohibition of marijuana, minority-owned business and drug convicts all fall in the economic empowerment and social equity applicants’ class.
For an entrepreneur to acquire these licenses, he/she will first have a negotiated agreement with the host community before applying to the state. This process could take a long time, according to Hoffman since the commission has no say in the length of the application process.
Home delivery companies could be prioritized in the application process if they met certain criteria like application under the economic empowerment class. These applicants could leapfrog the long list of retail store facilities applications.
At least a dozen municipalities are expected to volunteer to take part in the social consumption pilot program. However, this process could be delayed since a lot of rules that communicate need to incorporate before social consumptions of marijuana begins, need, legislation.
Businesses applying for new licenses will be subject to the same regulations regarding marijuana. These include thorough background checks and selling to underage people. An applicant will be required to pay an application fee of $1500 and an annually renewable $10,00 fee. However, social equity and economic empowerment applicants will have their annual fee waived.
The marijuana home delivery service has raised safety concerns. Businesses delivering high quantities of marijuana are in danger of getting robbed. In the words of Chief John Carmichael Walpole Police, “home delivery is a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Based on the federal monetary policy, these marijuana home delivery companies may carry a lot of cash which will be against the policy. The law may have to be implemented to allow consumers to pay for delivered marijuana via credit or debit card.
The new regulations will require home delivery vehicles to be equipped with security features like CCTV cameras, anti-theft alarms, and GPS tracking devices. A specific time was also set from eight in the morning to nine o’clock in the night. Marijuana delivery in college dormitories is also prohibited. Delivery drivers will also be expected to have body cams on them in an effort to provide accountability to all transactions involving marijuana. There is a growing fear that this will invade into clients’ privacy.
The Cannabis Control Commissioners suggested that an enforcement officer be legally authorized to go through the collected camera footage to determine any illegal transactions for investigation. However, according to Sharleen Title, one of the commissioners, it is possible for one to go through those many hours of footage.
In marijuana restaurants, consumers should be provided with full information of the contents of the marijuana edibles and joints. This is because there are certain limits that one person can consume in one sitting. These restaurants will also operate from eight in the morning to nine at night.
In order to enforce these regulations, law enforcement will collaborate with state regulators to make necessary adjustments to the security protocols.
The major legislative problem the state encountered was to make sure that neighborhoods disenfranchised by strict drug enforcement policies benefited from the legalization of marijuana. Proposers of the new marijuana system say that this could lead to more job opportunities in these areas. The low cost startup process for this business opens up a world of possibilities to convicts.