Do you want lawmakers to take medical cannabis seriously and create new opportunities to expand patient access across the state? On June 6th the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hold their first hearing involving medical cannabis at the Massachusetts statehouse. MPAA invites patients, their caregivers, and medical cannabis advocates to join our organization in supporting bills that would eliminate the barriers and restrictions that have limited access to medical cannabis in the Commonwealth over the past decade.
MPAA will attend the hearing to speak in support of H.117, titled “An Act Relative to Vertical Integration of Medical Marijuana Businesses“. H.117, sponsored by Rep. Dave Rogers, would give the Cannabis Control Commission the power to issue medical marijuana licenses without requiring licensees to be fully integrated. Below is a summary of H.117 and details about how you can support the bill with lawmakers. Help us unleash the full potential of the medical marijuana program by sending your support for H.117
Since the inception of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program in Massachusetts every business that has a medical marijuana license has been required to handle every aspect of the supply chain. This is known as vertical integration and means that each company is required to do everything from grow their own plants, create their own products, and operate their own dispensary.
• This obligation is a major financial and logistical barrier to licensure that has limited competition by being impossible for most businesses to accomplish.
• H.117 would tier medical cannabis licenses and make separate license classes available, allowing businesses to operate in at least one but perhaps several segments in the medical cannabis marketplace.
• Access to medical cannabis is limited in areas of Massachusetts such as Cape Cod and the Berkshires. Removing the vertical integration requirement can increase the likelihood that smaller operators will locate in underserved areas to serve the unique needs of those communities.
• Several existing businesses have expressed interest in participating in the medical market but are prevented from doing so due to the high costs associated with vertical integration. Eliminating the vertical integration requirement in medical marijuana licensing would help level the playing field and allow for a more diverse group of entrepreneurs to start specializing in segments of the medical marijuana industry where their experience and skillset can be put to use for the benefit of patients.
• H.117 also gives the Cannabis Control Commission the power to encourage full participation in the medical marijuana industry by people from communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition and enforcement to fulfill on their equity mandate.
HEARING DETAILS & BILL LINKS
Location: 24 Beacon St, Room A1, Boston, MA 02133
Date: June 6th, 2023
Speaking at Hearing: If you would like to speak during the hearing you may sign up by completing this form: https://forms.gle/QiQ1tEPT18UNxGjYA
Individuals planning to testify must sign up no later than 5:00p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2023. Please be aware that that hearings are live-streamed, recorded, and will published on the Massachusetts legislature website.
Sending Written Testimony: If you would like to send in written testimony please send your comments to Meriah.Metzger@MAHouse.gov with “testimony” and the relevant bill number(s) in the subject line of the email.
Please be aware that written testimony will be shared with lawmakers during deliberations on whether a certain bill should move forward. Comments submitted in writing are not required to be published under the public records law.
On the Agenda: Medical, Research, Laboratories
• H.105 – An Act relative to data transparency in the cannabis industry
• H.109 – An Act to provide consumers of adult-use and medical dispensaries of cannabis with access to a medical professional for consultation
• H.110 – An Act requiring informed consent for marijuana testing
• H.116 – An Act relative to research by independent testing laboratories
• H.117 – An Act relative to vertical integration of medical marijuana businesses
• H.120 – An Act relative to medical marijuana fees
• S.61 – An Act relative to medical marijuana oversight
• S.62 – An Act relative to data transparency in the cannabis industry