Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts Dispensary Sues for Right to Transport Cannabis to Island by Boat

A dispensary in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against the state Cannabis Control Commission over rules that prohibit the transport of cannabis products by boat across the Vineyard Sound to the island.

Full story after the jump.

A Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts cannabis dispensary is suing the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) over rules prohibiting the transport of cannabis products by boat across the Vineyard Sound to the island, the Vineyard Gazette reports. The lawsuit, filed by Island Time owner Geoff Rose, argues that the ban on transporting cannabis from the mainland to the island is arbitrary and puts an undue burden on dispensaries on the island who must rely on cannabis grown only on the island. 

State officials say the ban is necessary due to federal law and state regulations that prohibit the transporting of cannabis across the water and airspace between mainland Massachusetts and Martha’s Vineyard, the report says. Rose, in an interview with the Gazette, pushed back on those claims, saying the Vineyard Sound operates under state jurisdiction.

“For more than 11 years, my efforts have centered on providing safe and responsible cannabis to local residents and visitors alike. I’m hoping that the court will mandate the commission take immediate action to allow us to transport the product from the mainland.” — Rose to the Gazette

The lawsuit comes after the island’s only commercial cannabis facility, Fine Fettle, announced it would close this year, leaving the Martha’s Vineyard dispensaries without product. Rose said that earlier this year he ordered products from a supplier on the mainland who transported them aboard a vehicle aboard the Steamship Authority ferry but the said that also ran afoul of state rules and ordered Rose not to sell the product – a position they later revered.

“[Island Time] is being starved to death by the Commission’s arbitrary, unreasonable and inconsistent policy against transporting marijuana and marijuana products over state territorial waters,” the lawsuit states. 

A statement from the CCC indicated that the agency “has been discussing what may be possible in terms of extending additional accommodations to these licensees and will be scheduling a public meeting on Martha’s Vineyard within the next month to continue the conversation” but that “transportation of marijuana from the Commonwealth mainland to the island counties is not one of those accommodations.”      

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