Marijuana delivered to your doorstep. A THC-infused happy hour after work. In some states, both seem like a far-off pipe dream of cannabis convenience at its finest. Yet, they’re about to become a viable reality for residents of Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, the Cannabis Control Commission voted in approval of such services to be legally operated within state boundaries. MassLive reports the vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan as the sole dissenting vote.
This decision arrives in a wave of widespread concern regarding the toxicity of vaping products. Flanagan told the news site she worries that people having more opportunities to socially smoke will directly translate to even more vaping-related illnesses.
In a recent investigation by the Associated Press, it was revealed that the owner of a smoke shop in Manhattan, Rajinder Singh, was selling vape pods with synthetic marijuana in them. Black market cartridges like these caused dozens of individuals to develop mysterious lung illnesses and other ailments. Some even fell into comas.
Singh told the AP he purchased the “Green Machine” pods in exchange for other paraphernalia from a man he knew as “Bob,” who drove a van down from Massachusetts.
Even so, vaping products have since been temporarily banned in the state. Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency that would prevent businesses from selling them for the next four months, he wrote in an official statement.
The aim is to allow medical experts time to determine the cause of the outbreak of illnesses caused by vaping.
Once that happens, commissioners Shaleen Title and Britte McBride told MassLive it will be a requirement for consumers to be informed on the exact product ingredients they are consuming, as well as quantity of THC. Patrons of venues like cannabis lounges and cafés will also be cut off after purchasing a certain amount of cannabis.
As for home delivery of cannabis, new security measures are gradually being implemented. Delivery drivers will be required to wear body cameras, and they can’t work after 9 p.m.
An online portal remains open for those interested in applying for their own cannabis business license. At least 65 businesses, including dispensaries and wellness centers, have been authorized to commence their operations.