November 7, 2017

Cannabis Commission requests $7.5M for FY18, industry rollout

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The business of marijuana is closer to reality each day.

The Cannabis Control Commission is asking the Legislature for $7.5 million in the current fiscal year so that it can write regulations and launch a legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

Related: Leominster’s Flanagan talks about her role in pot launch

The commission’s request, submitted to the legislative leaders and the governor’s administration on Thursday, includes $3.6 million in operating funds and another $3.9 million in capital funds.

“This is adequate, in our opinion, to do the job we have been appointed to do,” chairman Steven Hoffman said. “There is no fluff in this budget.”

The CCC requested $534,167 in funding for the five commissioner salaries, $470,834 for senior agency staff, $665,300 for license application processing and enforcement, and $283,750 for community outreach.

MARIJUANA INDUSTRY FORMS LOCAL NONPROFIT

The legal marijuana industry is formalizing its response to state regulators, announcing the formation of a nonprofit Tuesday that will produce memos and offer insights as the Cannabis Control Commission drafts regulations.

Coastal Compassion, Massachusetts Patient Foundation, Mayflower Medicinals, and Natural Selections are supporting the development of the Responsible Regulation Alliance, with the group’s daily work coordinated by Boston-based Beacon Strategies Group and Denver-based VS Strategies, which have been hired by the coalition. The Massachusetts office of the law firm Vicente Sederberg also plans to offer advice.

“We expect RRA will be a valuable contributor during the rule-making process,” Steve Byrne, vice president at BSG, said in a statement Tuesday.

“RRA’s mission is to provide the Commission with as much information and insight as possible so that it can craft optimal regulations. The final regulations should balance the interests of protecting public health with the goal of allowing industry players to operate in an efficient manner. Such a balance is achievable but it is critical to learn from the experiences of actors in other states.”

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