Massachusetts is moving forward to allow a controversial new type of marijuana delivery business

“This is a giant step forward.”

Despite pushback from some lawmakers and local municipalities, Massachusetts marijuana regulators are moving forward with plans to allow a new class of weed delivery business.

During a three-hour meeting Tuesday, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission approved some “contentious” changes to its draft regulations, allowing standalone recreational marijuana retailers without storefronts to deliver products to customers’ doorsteps.

Massachusetts already allows the delivery of medical marijuana. And allowing any recreational marijuana delivery, which was approved last year, has already proved somewhat controversial. However, advocates argued — and the CCC ultimately agreed — that it would help licensed businesses compete with the many black-market operators (who effectively offer delivery for free) and also further the state’s goals of promoting small and minority-owned companies, since a delivery business involves fewer start-up costs than a brick-and-mortar retail store.

This past spring, the CCC began accepting applications for what it now refers to as a “courier” license for adult-use marijuana delivery. But that license type only allowed third-party companies to deliver purchases from dispensaries — basically following the same model as food delivery apps, like GrubHub or DoorDash, but with far more restrictions.

As The Boston Globe reported in August, many prospective businesses argued that the small fee they could charge for transporting customers’ purchases from (mostly white, corporate-backed) dispensaries was not worth the price of adhering to all the regulations, even if some preferred the model’s otherwise low upfront costs. [Read More @]

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