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Challenges and Calls for Change at Massachusetts' Cannabis Control Commission

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Marijuana stakeholders demand rule changes amid internal discord and hurdles.

description: a group of people gathered outside a government building, holding signs advocating for marijuana rule changes at the cannabis control commission meeting.

Marijuana dispensaries and patient advocates are calling on Massachusetts' Cannabis Control Commission for a rule change allowing the drug to be shipped over the state's waterways. Currently, state regulations prohibit the transportation of marijuana over Massachusetts waterways, posing a significant challenge for businesses in the industry.

Tensions were high at a May 23 Cannabis Control Commission meeting when one commissioner accused another of creating internal discord within the agency. The commission has been plagued by reports of workplace bullying and lack of accountability, with three former high-level staffers speaking out about their experiences.

Three former high-level staffers at the state's Cannabis Control Commission say they suffered workplace bullying by the agency's management. The allegations have raised concerns about the work environment and leadership within the commission, prompting calls for reform.

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) — An 81-year-old woman on Martha's Vineyard drove up to the Island Time dispensary last week seeking her usual supply of medical marijuana. However, the state's regulations on marijuana transportation have made it difficult for dispensaries to maintain consistent inventory levels.

The two-driver rule is a hurdle and a handcuff that companies like mine are facing,” said Gyasi Sellers, the owner of a cannabis delivery service. The rule, which requires two drivers for every shipment of marijuana, has created logistical challenges for businesses in the industry.

"For over two years, it has become well known that the commission is an agency riddled with internal discord, lack of accountability, and workplace bullying," said a spokesperson for a cannabis advocacy group. The ongoing issues within the commission have hindered its ability to effectively regulate the state's marijuana industry.

State cannabis regulators came to the Island Thursday to hear from local cannabis producers, retailers, and medical and recreational marijuana users. The meeting provided an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their concerns and suggestions for improving the commission's operations.

State regulations forbid marijuana to be shipped over Massachusetts waterways, making it extremely difficult for businesses to maintain consistent inventory levels. The restrictions have created logistical challenges for dispensaries and delivery services, impacting their ability to meet the needs of patients and consumers.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has not had a full-fledged executive director working every day since September of 2023. The lack of consistent leadership has contributed to the internal discord and lack of accountability within the agency, prompting calls for a change in management.

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