Massachusetts opens the door to cafes, delivery, and more opportunity…
I’ve discussed the strong move Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) chose to make recently in response to the vaping crisis, which continues to draw concerns from consumers.
Baker’s decision to impose a four-month ban on vaporizers has, so far, been the firmest reaction to the product being linked to several deaths, although the actual cause has not yet been pinpointed.
The ban hopes to curb the use of vaping devices and promote consumer safety, but whether it will have a positive impact is questionable. After all, it is normally not the legal cannabis industry that needs to be worried.
More recent activity in the Massachusetts legislature could be much more promising for the market.
In a 4-1 vote, the Cannabis Control Commission approved new licenses that’ll allow for home delivery and marijuana cafes to open up in the region.
Limitations to Consider
The Massachusetts legislature is a bit slow moving. When it comes to approving licenses, they tend to be very picky about who receives them.
Cannabis executives who want to get in on the action will have to do so at the pace local law makers will allow. It will take time before this service will be up, running, and making a significant impact.
And while waiting around for permits and licenses can be frustrating – unless you’re an expert like Kim Rivers – patience with the process could lead to greater overall opportunity.
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Potential Moving Forward
One of the more obvious effects the commission’s decision will have is an increase of access.
The introduction of delivery services will be particularly beneficial for those using cannabis for medicinal purposes. Obviously if someone has a medical condition that makes going out and about difficult a home delivery service could be life changing.
This move could influence towns to bring the product closer to consumers by allowing dispensaries to open up. If there’s a clear demand being met through delivery services, they’d do well to cash in.
Leading the Way
Massachusetts could use this as an opportunity to become a model for cannabis regulation.
In the past, I’ve talked about some of the best and worst rules that have been implemented in places like California and Washington. These are things Massachusetts should consider moving forward.
Taking a slower approach may not be the worst decision to make when developing smart regulatory practices for the cannabis boom.
Prioritizing regulation and a safe product can help redeem trust in lieu of the vaping crisis. If Massachusetts can give people what they want – convenience and access – while also working toward a safer overall experience, the state could lead the way for others and reap the benefits.
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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October 02 2019