On Friday, October 27, 2023, Massachusetts established new cannabis regulations. These new Massachusetts Cannabis Equity Regulations “include policies that will implement the agency’s oversight of host community agreements (HCAs), new municipal equity requirements, and suitability reform, in accordance with Chapter 180 of the Acts of 2022, An Act Relative to Equity in the Cannabis Industry.” – Mass Cannabis Control Commission. The act also changes several licensing restrictions, allowing lenience of certain criminal backgrounds that were previously restricted. Lastly, the commission will require businesses to donate to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund.
Brief Update on the Cannabis Equity Regulations
The Massachusetts Cannabis Equity Regulations give the CCC new commission authority to:
- Review, approve, and certify HCAs, and develop a model contract;
- Deem an HCA provision invalid or unenforceable, or voidable; and
- Issue sanctions against a host community that is noncompliant with HCA regulatory requirements, abstain from considering new license applications in that host community, or publish a list of communities that are out of compliance.
We will post a follow up when the commission fully implements the changes. However, our Massachusetts Standard Operating Procedures have been updated to reflect the new regulations.