Massachusetts Regulators Push Back Decision on Cannabis Cafes and Home Delivery

mg Magazine Massachusetts-Cannabis-Control-Commission-Says-no-to-cafes

Boston- Regulators in Massachusetts are not moving forward with plans to legalize cannabis cafes and home delivery for adult-use customers, at least for now.

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) voted 4-1 against issuing licenses for social consumption and delivery. Cafes or social consumption areas are designated spots where consumers can use cannabis outside of their residence. The CCC has agreed to take up the issue next year. Kay Doyle, a former health official in Massachusetts, was the only member of the commission to vote against the delay.


Patients will not be impacted by the decision as home delivery for medical cannabis is still permitted.

Governor Charlie Baker has been urging caution when it comes to allowing cannabis cafes. Earlier this month, Baker issued a letter to the CCC where he claimed that approving cannabis cafes could lead to more people driving under the influence. He also told reporters that “people should crawl before they walk and walk before they run.”

“Everyone is afraid the industry is going to grow too big too fast and be out of the government’s control,” Philip Deal, founder of Philip’s Own Apothecary, a producer of CBD products in Massachusetts, told mg. “So they are trying to slow it down and prolong it as long as they can. I don’t blame them. While the Cannabis Control Commission is trying to decide what to do, there is a booming cottage industry going already. Any adult can grow up to 6 plants here, how do you regulate something everybody is allowed to grow? It’s like regulating peppermint.”
“The medical dispensaries already here are going to profit the most. Again we can see the deepest pockets pull the longest strings,” Deal continued.

Cannabis cafes are not just a mere novelty. Though more states are legalizing recreational cannabis use, typically there is no legal space for tourists to consume the products they purchase. Few hotel rooms permit guests to smoke or vape cannabis in their rooms and use in public areas is also illegal. This leaves tourists with no places to go. The situation can also affect some residents as many landlords also forbid use on their property.

In November 2016, voters approved Question 4 which gave adults 21 years old the right to grow and use cannabis. Individuals are permitted to possess 10 ounces of marijuana flower at home and one ounce in public. They are also allowed to grow up to six plants at home.