From “cannabis cafes” to “craft cooperatives,” regulators have been laying out a vision for what a potential multi-billion dollar recreational marijuana industry might look like when retail sales begin next year in Massachusetts.
The Cannabis Control Commission reached tentative agreement over the past week on an array of rules and regulations required to implement the law approved by voters last November and later modified by the Legislature.
Promoting diversity and placing controls on the packaging, marketing and advertising of pot were other key issues discussed by the five-member panel, which is expected to formally approve the regulations in the coming days.
The rules would be open to public comment before being finalized in March.
Here are some highlights:
A pot shop typically works much like a liquor store: You go in, buy the product and take it home to consume.
Regulators in Massachusetts and other legal recreational marijuana states have wrestled with the issue of when, where and how to let people use pot in social settings and other establishments.
The commission ultimately settled on two types of on-site consumption licenses.
A primary use license would be for businesses that derive more than 50 percent of their income from marijuana sales. An example of such a business model would be a cannabis bar or cafe where patrons could gather and use marijuana with friends.
A major question, however, is whether smoking would be allowed in such establishments or if customers would be limited to using marijuana in other forms such as edibles. The commission plans to form a working group to make recommendations on “smoking and other forms of social consumption,” by July 1.
The second category, a mixed use license, would be available to businesses that may want to make cannabis available to customers in some fashion. Examples could include restaurants, movie theaters, yoga studios or