Regional Planning Agency – Recreational Marijuana Working Group
In June, representatives from the states 13 Regional Planning Agencies agreed to form an informal RPA working group is to allow for the efficient and timely sharing of information through coordination of key staff members. The objective is to facilitate a framework for the 13 RPA’s to share and host information for member communities related to the efficient and full implantation of the new (now revised) marijuana law, and to:
- Increase efficiency by establishing an information sharing plan amongst the RPA’s and member communities.
- Provide more comprehensive technical assistance through providing updated information and, ultimately, the preparation of model bylaws for use by member communities.
- Reduce the amount of repetition amongst municipalities; many towns will face similar questions and create similar paths and providing information quickly to member communities can reduce help redundancy.
- Foster a partnership with other municipal groups, such as the Mass Municipal Association and Mass Municipal Lawyers Association.
This page will be updated frequently. Please check back and please share this resource with anyone seeking information on the municipal implementation of the new Recreational Marijuana Law.
January 16, 2018 – On January 9, 2018, the Cannabis Control Commission posted a new document entitled “Guidance for Municipalities Regarding Marijuana for Adult Use”. This is an excellent resource for municipalities to begin to understand the new regulations. To view, print, or save the new guidance document, click here.
Or, to access it directly from the CCC’s website, click here.
We note that in addition to working on Zoning Bylaws, etc., municipalities should begin to anticipate fairly extensive interaction with a Marijuana Establishment before they submit an application to the CCC. This is because the new regulations require that an Establishment must submit proof of an executed Host Community Agreement as part of their application to the CCC. Also, an Establishment is required (under the current draft regulations) to schedule, advertise, and hold a “community outreach hearing” in the community where a use is proposed.
December 29, 2017 – the Cannabis Control Commission will be holding public hearings on the promulgation of 935 CMR 500.000, Adult Use of Marijuana. The regulations promulgate regulations regarding adult use of marijuana, including: licensing; operational requirements for cultivation, product manufacturing, retail sales and social consumption; delivery; compliance; enforcement; and administrative appeals. Click here to view the full Notice and schedule of public hearings, which will occur in various locations throughout Massachusetts during February 2017.
December 21, 2017 – DRAFT REGULATIONS – The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) draft regulations were released. Public hearings on these regulations will be held in February 2018 with the final version of the regulations due to be issued by March 15,2018. Click here to view the draft regulations.
December 14, 2017 – The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is currently in the process of drafting regulations. During the week of December 11th the Commission is meeting daily to review recommendations from the Cannabis Advisory Board and begin debate on regulations to be included. Each day, the CCC is publishing a press release summarizing decisions made.
To view a single PDF of all four press releases, click here.
To view these updates on the “public documents” portion of the Cannabis Control Commission, click here.
The Commission will be submitting (and presumably publishing) draft regulations by December 29, 2017.
December 13, 2017 – The following is a short list of several municipalities actively creating zoning to regulate recreational marijuana uses. The list is not comprehensive, nor do the documents imply recommendations or final approved language.
Amherst (as of November 6, 2017)
Salem (as of November 7, 2017)
Easthampton (as of December 7, 2017)
Groton (as of December 7, 2017)
Grafton (as of December 8, 2017)
To view the General Host Community Agreement outline prepared by George Hull, Esq, of Anderson/Kreiger (submitted at the STAM meeting on November 9, 2017), click here.
November 7, 2017 – The next meeting of the Cannabis Control Commission will be Tuesday, November 7th at 12 noon. To view the agenda, click here.
November 9, 2017 – Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts (STAM) will hold a panel discussion on “new marijuana laws” from 1:30 p.m.-3 at Sturbridge Town Hall. The panel will include:
- Jeffrey Bagg, Project Manager, Community Development and Planning, Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Committee
- David Lakeman, Legislative Analyst, Massachusetts Municipal Association
- T.b.d., Weedmaps Dispensaries, NETA (New England Treatment Access)
- David Nixon, Town Administrator, Town of Hadley
- Julie Jacobson, Town Manager, Town of Auburn
To view the agenda, click here.
October 1-31, 2017 – The Cannabis Control Commission held a series of listening sessions across the state:
- October 2, 2017 – Invitee Session – The purpose of the invitee listening session is to hear from representatives of invited organizations.
- October 4, 2017 – Holyoke Community College
- October 5, 2017 – Barnstable Town Hall
- October 6, 2017 – Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building
- October 10, 2017 – West Tisbury Public Library
- October 11, 2017 – Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room
- October 12, 2017 – One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor
- October 13, 2017 – Berkshire Community College
To view all agenda’s and information posted on the Cannabis Control Commission website, click here.
October 1-31, 2017 – The Cannabis Advisory Board held its initial meeting in October, along with various subcommittee meetings throughout the month of October:
- October 31, 2017 -Cannabis Advisory Board – Cannabis Industry Subcommittee
- October 27, 2017 – Cannabis Advisory Board – Public Health Subcommittee
- October 26, 2017 – Cannabis Advisory Board – Market Participation Subcommittee
- October 20, 2017 – Cannabis Advisory Board -Public Health Subcommittee
- October 20, 2017 – Cannabis Advisory Board- Public Safety and Community Mitigation Subcommittee
- October 16, 2017- Cannabis Advisory Board- Cannabis Industry Subcommittee
- October 13, 2017- Cannabis Advisory Board- Public Health Subcommittee
To view the Cannabis Advisory Board website, click here.
October 26, 2017 – Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission submitted a letter to the CCC requesting that the validity of temporary moratoriums be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that communities can be provided the best and most up-to-date technical assistance. To view the letter, click here.
October 26, 2017 – MMA published an article entitled “Local control questions surround recreational marijuana” which provided a general overview of a half-day forum co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association and MMA to update municipal officials on the status of the new law. To view the article, click here.
October 25, 2017 – MMA published an article entitled “Cannabis Control Commission has active month” which provides a good overview of various activities of the CCC and the Cannabis Advisory Board. To view the article, click here.
**October 24, 2017 – the Cannabis Control Commission held a regular meeting and discussed a variety of issues, including staffing. During the Chairperson’s comments and updates, he **identified that the drafting of regulations was underway and that draft regulations are expected to be published in mid-December. Additionally, he identified that during the month of January the Commission would hold public hearings on the regulations at various locations across the state.
October 18, 2017 – The Cannabis Control Commission hired Shawn Collins as the Executive Director of the Cannabis Control Commission.
October 5, 2017 – The Department of Public Health this week released guidance that paves the way for RMDs, which prior to the new legislation adopted this summer had to be organized as not-for-profit corporations under Chapter 180, to convert to for-profit corporate entities. The green light from DPH is a blessing for RMDs who, by virtue of the nonprofit requirement, were forced to adopt complex corporate structures. The Guidance can be found here. (Source Massachusetts Marijuana Counsel)
**October 3, 2017 – Nearly 150 municipal officials attended a half-day conference co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association and the MMA. The speakers included:
- George Hall, Jr., Anderson & Krieger, LLP – Overview of statutory provisions affecting municipal regulation
- Margaret Hurley, Esq., Office of the Attorney General, Municipal Law Unit – Options for local bylaws
- Jeffrey Bagg, Project Manager, CMRPC – Land Use Planning and Implementation of the Statute
Mr. Hall reviewed in detail the changes and evolution of the law, including many of the unanswered technical questions related to how medical marijuana establishments interact with the new law. **Ms. Hurley raised a key concern about potential challenges to the validity of temporary moratoriums and noted that other actions may be needed by municipalities prior to April 1, 2018. Mr. Bagg began to explore some of the zoning considerations for the different types of recreational marijuana uses.
To view the “land use planning issues in implementing the statute” slide presentation, click here.
The Cannabis Control Commission announces state-wide listening tour. It starts on October 4, 2017! To view the schedule, click here
To view the CCC website, click here.
To read a WBUR article from September 26, 2017, summarizing the CCC’s second meeting, click here.
Implementing the Revised Marijuana Statute – What Municipal Officials Need to Know Now. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017, HOGAN CONFERENCE CENTER, HOLY CROSS COLLEGE, WORCESTER, MA.
- This program provides municipal and government attorneys and local officials, including administrators and planners, the latest information and resources in responding to the new recreational marijuana statute.
To view a September 22, 2017 PVPC overview letter and model moratorium language, click here.
To view a September 7, 2017 CMRPC Legislative Affairs memorandum, click here.
To view the KP Law updated guidance document (August 2017), click here.
To watch this very informative information session held on August 31, 2017 by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and presented by Attorney J. Raymond Miyares, click here. (if the link is not direct, type in “marijuana” in the search bar)
To view the MMA’s update/overview article, dated August 22, 2017, click here.
To watch this very informative webinar hosted by Foley Hoag, LLP on August 17, 2017, click here.
To view the AG’s East Bridgewater, issued on August 14, 2017, click here.
The new law references medical marijuana treatment centers licensed or registered before July 1, 2017. To view the Department of Health’s list of RMD application status, updated through August 4, 2017, click here.
The new law references the vote of communities on Question 4 in November. To view the official results (broken down by number of votes) from the Secretary of States office, click here. To view the Secretary of State’s interactive website on the results by county and by municipality, click here.
To view the Municipal Law Unit (i.e. the “AG’s office”) decisions on temporary moratoriums and other bylaw reviews related to recreational marijuana, click here.
H.3818 together with Voter approved language – The following document is the text of the compromise House Bill, No. 3818 incorporated into the voter approved “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” language . The purpose of this document is to allow municipalities to begin reviewing the entire new proposed legislation. To view the file, click here.
- To review the House/Senate compromise bill, H. 3818 (dated July 17, 2017), click here.
- To view a July 17, 2017 Boston Globe article summarizing the new bill, click here.
- To view a July 31, 2017 MMA article: “Governor signs reworked recreational marijuana law”, click here.
June 14, 2017 – Marijuana Policy Committee releases revisions to the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana law.
- To view the Massachusetts House Proposed Marijuana Bill, click here.
- To view the Massachusetts House Marijuana Proposal Outline, click here.
- To view the June 14th MMA letter to House members, click here.
- To review the Senate bill, S.2097 (dated June 22, 2017), click here.
- To view the Mass Municipal Association letter to Conference Committee, dated June 26, 2017, click here.
- To view the CMRPC Legislative Affairs update, dated May 18, 2017, click here.
April 2017 – During late March and April, the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy held a series of public hearings to provide an “overview and discussion” of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Law.
- To view the Joint Committee’s webpage and view the pending bills, click here.
- To view the Mass Municipal Association’s April 27, 2017 summary of the hearings, click here.
Temporary Moratorium Information
On March 13th, 2017, CMRPC invited Planners and Planning Board Members to an interactive forum as a follow up to the Recreational Marijuana Listening Session. The Focus of our conversation was how to prepare a Temporary Moratorium in your community.
- Joseph Laydon – Grafton Town Planner
- Jennifer Hager – Sutton Planning Director
- Gary Bechtholdt – Northbridge Town Planner
- Bernard Cahill – Shrewsbury Town Planner
To watch a video of the event, click here.
- To view the West Bridgewater December 14, 2016 Warrant, click here
- To view the West Bridgewater Municipal Law Unit decision (8242). January 18, 2017, click here
- To view the Shrewsbury March 16, 2017 draft warrant, click here
- To view the Grafton January 31, 2017 draft warrant, click here
- To view the Northbridge Panning Board public hearing notice and draft warrant from February 22, 2017, click here
- To view the Northbridge process flow chart, click here
- To view the KP law Model Moratorium Warrant Article language, click here
- To view Mass Municipal Association written comments to the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, dated March 20, 2017, click here.
- To watch the March 2017 video interview with the Governor discussing Recreational Marijuana, click here.
- To view the March 2017 Town of Westborough Recreational Marijuana Ballot initiative and Town Meeting actions, click here.
- On March 18th, 2017, the CPTC Conference featured a seminar on Recreational Marijuana
- On Friday, March 10, 2017, the MMLA held a seminar on “The New Marijuana Law – How Municipalities can (and should) Respond”
Please note that during the MMLA conference on March 10th, 2017, the director of the Municipal Law Unit confirmed that moratoriums extending to the end of December 2018 were reasonable based on the timeline and provisions in the new law.
- On February 14, 2017, the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) and the Southwest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) held a joint educational forum about municipal planning for legalized recreational marijuana.
Presentation by Jeffrey Presentation by Gregory, Bagg, CMRPC Miao, Esq.; MAPC
- To view an Attorney General decision on a Westborough bylaw related to both medical and recreational marijuana (note: this decision relates to zoning bylaw amendments made prior to December 15 2016, but contains some relevant information on the new law), click here.
- To view the CMRPC Recreational Marijuana Update, dated February 3, 2017, click here.
- To view the CMRPC letter to Senator Michael Moore, dated February 2, 2017, click here.
- To view the CMRPC “preliminary” Recreational Marijuana timeline, click here.
- To view the *revised* KP Law guidance document, dated January 2017, click here.
- To view the KP Law Model Ballot Question (prohibition) language, click here.
- To view the Attorney General approval of West Bridgewater’s 18 month moratorium, click here.
- To view The Regulation And Taxation Of Marijuana Act showing the EXTENSION dates, click here.
After the passage of Question 4, many planners and town officials have begun to discuss how local communities will regulate retail sales of recreational marijuana. CMRPC hosted a “here’s what we know” information session for municipalities on Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 9:00 AM to noon. If you’d like to view the Power Point presentation, click here.
To view video from the December 15th Information and Listening Session, click here
- To view the December 14, 2016 memo from Daniel Bennett, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, click here.
- To view the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB) December 11, 2016 memo, click here.
- To view the MMA’s November 2016 Letter to the Governor and Legislative Leaders, click here.
- To listen to a November 10, 2016 NPR interview with State Treasurer Deb Goldberg on this program, please click here.
- To view the MMLA’s Letter to the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House, click here.
- To view the DPH’s list and “current status of all Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and Applicants”, please click here.
- To view the March 2016 Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana, click here.
For questions, please contact: