Cannabis Legal Report – August 2022 | Coie Perkins


[co-author: Hanna Barker Mullin]

Cannabis: in brief

  • Massachusetts Governor Signs Comprehensive Cannabis Regulation Bill
  • Labeling error forces Curaleaf to remove thousands of products from shelves

Massachusetts Governor Signs Comprehensive Cannabis Regulation Bill

On August 11, 2022, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill (S. 3096) to advance social equity and diversity within the state’s cannabis industry and support cannabis businesses with state and local taxes and fees. The new law also provides guidance for on-site consumer installations.

The new law includes several social equity initiatives. For example, people with a criminal record for possession or cultivation of cannabis could apply for an expungement. The bill also directs 15% of revenue raised through state cannabis taxes to the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund for grants and loans to entrepreneurs affected by the war on drugs. The law also incentivizes localities to host social equity cannabis retailers by redirecting 1% of total sales received by a business to municipalities that host that business.

As for taxes and fees, the legislation changes the state’s tax code so that cannabis retailers can deduct business expenses. Municipalities are also limited in the fees they can charge cannabis businesses at their borders.

The new law provides for the regulation of social cannabis consumption establishments, allowing on-site consumption of cannabis. The law provides that these establishments must be authorized in the city or town in which they are located and cannot sell or allow the consumption of tobacco.

Governor Baker vetoed a provision that would have directed the state cannabis regulator to investigate the possession and use of cannabis for medical purposes in schools by students with valid enrollment cards.

Labeling error forces Curaleaf to remove thousands of products from shelves

One of the nation’s leading cannabis companies has been forced to pull its medicinal cannabis from New York’s shelves following an unapproved labeling change. Curaleaf, which sells products in dispensaries across the country, changed the labeling of its products without prior approval. The cannabis company has changed its labels to present the “dry weight” of cannabis compared to the “wet weight” approved by New York.

Besides the removal of the product from the market, the ramifications of the error in New York could still be looming; however, some view these issues as further evidence that a federal, universal labeling system for cannabis products is overdue. A universal labeling system would not only save businesses money by complying with each state’s specific and varying rules, but it would also significantly improve public safety if consumers knew they could trust the symbols. familiar and up to power standards in other jurisdictions.

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