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The Cannabis Catch-Up: Massachusetts Moves Toward Allowing Weed Delivery, Cafés

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Amsterdam is home to famous cannabis coffee shops. Could Massachusetts follow? - SBOSTOCK | DREAMSTIME.COM
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  • Amsterdam is home to famous cannabis coffee shops. Could Massachusetts follow?
Imagine living in a state that has legalized cannabis sales and is considering allowing home weed deliveries and cafés where you could sit and smoke with your buds.

It’s a land known as Massachusetts, aka Vermont's neighbor to the south. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission on Tuesday approved both cafés and delivery operations, though such businesses could be a long way off because of restrictive regulations.

Delivery drivers, for instance, would need a vehicle equipped with cameras and lockboxes, according to the Boston Globe. And drivers would need to wear body cameras to record each transaction. The delivery operators would not be affiliated with any weed sales business but would rather serve as "on-demand couriers" that could pick up pot from a shop and then hand it off at a customer's home, the Globe reported. Deliveries would be prohibited from federally subsidized housing, hotels and dorms.



The cafés seem even more of a pipe dream. Legislators would need to tweak state law so that cities could decide for themselves whether to host the businesses, the Globe reported. And the state would first run a pilot program to see how such cafés would operate.

From the Globe:

The agency also postponed until the fall consideration of event licenses that would have allowed chefs, wedding planners, yoga teachers, and concert organizers, among others, to apply for one-day marijuana licenses akin to those available for alcohol.
 “Craft” entrepreneurs would be first in line for such licenses, according to the commission.

“It’s a major step towards the vision of an industry that has room for . . . small and locally owned businesses,” Commissioner Shaleen Title said, the Globe reported.

Here are some other cannabis stories we’ve followed in the last two weeks:

June 16: “The first two states to legalize recreational marijuana are starting to grapple with teenagers’ growing use of highly potent pot, even as both boost the industry and reap huge tax windfalls from its sales.” [Jennifer Oldham, the Washington Post]

June 16: In an opinion piece, two doctors say that states should allow only adults 25 and older to legally consume cannabis because of the damage the drug does to developing brains. In most states that have legalized weed — including Vermont — the minimum age is 21. [Kenneth L. Davis and Mary Jeanne Kreek, the New York Times]

June 17: Cops in Connecticut busted a New Hampshire man who allegedly had 28 pounds of edible marijuana products, pellet guns, a bulletproof vest and police patches in his car. [Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant]

June 17: A Colorado man got life in prison for murdering three people at an illegal cannabis grow operation in 2017. [John Spina, Daily Camera]

June 19: New York lawmakers failed to pass an adult-use cannabis bill before adjourning the session. Legislators did pass an expanded decriminalization bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he’ll sign. [Vivian Wang, the New York Times]

June 21: After Eli Harrington left Heady Vermont, cofounder and company CEO Monica Donovan wrote about the future of the company. [Monica Donovan, Heady Vermont]

June 25: A panel of southern Vermont legislators listened to constituent concerns and other input about S.54, the stalled bill that would legalize weed sales in the Green Mountain State. [Melanie Winters, Brattleboro Reformer]

June 25: Wondering about the ins and outs of Illinois’ weed legalization? Here’s one shocking stat: “The racial justice provision in the bill will lead to the expungement of up to nearly 800,000 cannabis convictions, which have disproportionately affected people of color. [Thor Benson, Rolling Stone]

June 26: A question on the minds of many in Vermont and beyond: Could hemp be a cash cow for dairy farmers? [Elizabeth Hewitt, Civil Eats]

June 27: Italy is experiencing a “green gold rush” in the form of “cannabis light” which is, well, basically just hemp. But people are buying and smoking it — and the debate about the 0.6 percent THC cannabis is shaking up Italian society. [Alessia Melchiorre and Colleen Barry, Associated Press]

June 27: Author, actor and film director John Waters talks up his new book and, of course, weed. [Kory Grow, Rolling Stone]

June 27: Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a rules bill that spells out how residents there can grow, buy and sell marijuana. The rules go into effect in September and sales are on track to begin in March 2020 — nearly two and a half years after Mainers voted for legalization. [Penelope Overton, Portland Press Herald]

June 28: Lizzie Post, co-president of the Emily Post Institute, went on the radio to talk up her new book Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, From Dispensaries to Dinner Parties. [Mitch Wertlieb and Karen Anderson, Vermont Public Radio]

Got a story you want to see in our our weekly roundup? Send an email to cannabeat@sevendaysvt.com.

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