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 Brian Falk

 Steve Madaus

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March 12, 2018
Final Marijuana Regulations Released 
The state's Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has released its final regulations, which will take effect upon publication by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Like the draft regulations released late last year, the final regulations do not provide much in the way of guidance on local control over recreational marijuana establishments, beyond the limitations set forth in the statute approved by voters in 2016 and amended by the Legislature last year.
Of interest to municipalities:  
  • A marijuana license applicant must hold a "community outreach meeting" before submitting a license application to the CCC. The applicant, and not the host municipality, bears the burden of running this meeting and providing the required notices to the public and abutters.

  • The CCC will send a copy of the marijuana license application to the host municipality and request that the city or town respond within 60 days that the applicant's proposed marijuana establishment is in compliance with local ordinances or bylaws. 
  • There is a default 500-foot buffer zone between marijuana establishments and pre-existing public or private K-12 schools, unless a local ordinance or bylaw reduces the distance requirement. The distance is measured in a straight line from property line to property line. (The draft regulations included daycare centers and facilities where children "commonly congregate" in the buffer zone, but these uses were removed from the final regulations).

  • Marijuana establishments may seek waivers from the security measures required by the CCC, or propose alternate security measures. Such requests will be sent to the chief law enforcement officer of the host municipality for a 30-day review. The CCC will take the chief law enforcement officer's opinion into consideration when determining whether to grant a waiver or alternative security proposal, although the local opinion will not be determinative of the CCC's decision.
Please contact Attorney Brian Falk with any questions about this topic.

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Mirick O'Connell is a full-service law firm with offices in Worcester, Westborough and Boston, Massachusetts.  The Firm's principal practice groups include Business;
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This client alert is intended to inform you of developments in the law and to provide information of general interest.  It is not intended to constitute legal advice regarding a client's specific legal issues and should not be relied upon as such.  This client alert may be considered advertising under the rules of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.