The Cannabis Control Commission has had an action-packed month, hiring an executive director for the commission, as well as working extensively to meet deadlines for both medical and recreational marijuana in the coming year.
The Commission hired Shawn Collins, who has been State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s key cannabis official for the past two years, as their new executive director. Collins was elected unanimously by the council over two other finalists following a two-hour public interview. His experience dealing with Massachusetts cannabis laws, regulations, and funding gave the Commission confidence in his abilities to guide the committee moving forward.
Apart from electing a new director, the Commission has been working closely with the Department of Public Health (DPH) in anticipation of taking over control of the medical marijuana industry from the DPH by the end of 2018. Before DPH hands over control to the CCC they are hoping to revise or overhaul several current regulations placed on the medical marijuana industry with the hopes of making medical marijuana more readily available to those who need it most.
With the revised and new regulations, nurse practitioners, hospice and nursing home employees would be able to administer medical marijuana to patients. Additionally, these regulations would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to post prices online and allows medical marijuana growers to cultivate cannabis from clones as opposed to just seeds.
Regarding recreational marijuana, the Commission has marked July 1st, 2018 as the date that recreational marijuana shops can open in Massachusetts. Additionally, the commission aims to start accepting applications for recreational marijuana licenses on March 15th, 2018. Before that date they will need to determine the form and method for applying for a recreational marijuana license, the fees associated with applying and obtaining a recreational marijuana license, employment standards for recreational marijuana shops and facilities, requirements for tracking and recording recreational marijuana, as well as ensuring there are proper security, insurance, health and safety standards in place.
In the coming months, the Commission hopes to obtain increased state funding to meet its anticipated ten-million-dollar budget and hire a forty-person staff. Currently, the CCC is formally searching for a spokesperson and a general counsel to add to their 8-person staff.
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