The home delivery of adult-use marijuana is expected to start this year in the city of Boston.
It will include a three-year exclusivity period to level out the field for small businesses who have been affected by the drug war.
It was on November 30th that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted 3-1 on for new adult-use marijuana regulations, including the home delivery structure for non-medical use marijuana. There will be two different types of delivery licenses available: courier and warehouse.
The courier model includes orders from traditional brick-and-mortar dispensaries delivered to consumers for a fee.
The warehouse license will allow companies to operate without a physical storefront, selling their merchandise online and using a home delivery system.
There will be cap limits also placed on the number of delivery and retail licenses available.
State marijuana regulators clarified the statutory allowance of up to three retail licenses and a regulatory allowance of up to a combined total of two marijuana courier and/or delivery operator licenses.
“The two major pieces here that are embedded … would be first to prohibit any investment by a third-party tech platform provider in a delivery licensee with which they have a contract,” stated Britte McBride, who recently left the Cannabis Control Commission board.
The second would be to decouple retail license caps from delivery license caps, “so that a licensee may hold up to three retailer licenses and up to a combination of two delivery operator and/or courier licenses. That reiterates the policy that is embedded in the statute, and also what we have worked under as a commission for the past three years,” added McBride.
There are also limitations on who will be allowed access to the licenses. For the first three years, licenses will be granted only to social equity applicants.
Delivery application and license fees will be waived for participants of the Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants and Social Equity Program in their first year of licensure under the three-year exclusivity period.
Third-party technology platform providers will be allowed to contract with an unlimited number of delivery licensees.
“I really appreciate the feedback that we received on the particular issue of the interplay between third party tech platforms and delivery operators and couriers,” said McBride. “I think it also puts a stake in the ground for ensuring that there’s an understanding about where this commission stands with regard to policy about preventing monopolies, and also really flags for people, I think, that we will be looking at this very closely and watching and engaging on it.”
Delivery is expected to start in 2021, but no exact date has been given.