With Clock Ticking, Some Concerned Pot Commission Moving Too Fast

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- After receiving criticism from public officials that they are moving too fast to draft the state's new pot laws, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is considering altering the rollout of certain types of marijuana retail licenses.

But the clock is ticking--by law, the commission has to establish final regulations for the pot retail business by the middle of March.

Some on Beacon Hill, like House Speaker Robert DeLeo, have raised concern about some of the content of the commission's draft regulations--like the possibility of cannabis cafes, or the home delivery of marijuana.

"We're probably going a little bit quicker than I would like to see in terms of these other issues coming up, whether they be selling in door-to-door delivery, whether they be cafes or whatnot," DeLeo said.

Gov. Baker said Monday night that he was also worried the legislation process was moving too quickly.

"I think the experience coming out of both Colorado and Oregon has been that this is a very tough industry to regulate straight out of the gate, and people should crawl before they walk and walk before they run," he said.

Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Stephen Hoffman said they will debate later this month about possibly making some types of licenses available before the July 1 deadline, and issuing some other types after.

"I think this is the right process, that we are certainly taking all of the input and feedback--including from the speaker--very seriously," Hoffman said. "We'll discuss and debate whether changes are required."

Hoffman said the pressure they're facing is not unexpected. But as for concerns about the speed of their work, he said their schedule has already been set.

"Most of the timelines we're adhering to are legislatively mandated timelines," he said. "So we're moving quickly, but we're moving quickly because that's the requirement."

The deadline for the public to make comments about draft pot regulations is Thursday.

The commission will start taking applications for licenses on April 1.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope reports

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