Massachusetts Dispensary Association Drops Anti-Equity Lawsuit as Members Leave

Following the departure of multiple member dispensaries, the Massachusetts Commonwealth Dispensary Association has dropped its lawsuit protesting the state’s social equity provisions for adult-use cannabis delivery licenses.

Full story after the jump.

After several Massachusetts cannabis companies dumped the Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) over a contentious lawsuit filed last week, the group is dropping its suit, the Boston Globe reports. The lawsuit had sought to overturn the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) plan to only issue delivery licenses to social equity applicants for the first three years.

“The CDA has determined it is in the best interest of the industry and our members to drop the lawsuit against the Cannabis Control Commission. We all need to be working together on achieving our many shared objectives, including increasing the participation of a diverse set of entrepreneurs in the industry.” — Commonwealth Dispensary Association statement, via the Boston Globe

According to a MassLive report, multiple association members — including Cultivate, In Good Health, Garden Remedies, NETA, and Caroline’s Cannabis — left the organization following backlash to the lawsuit, the report says. Pure Oasis, Massachusetts’ first economic empowerment dispensary to open, left the CDA a few months prior to the lawsuit as the company moved its focus on advocating for the delivery licenses.

On Saturday, In Good Health said in a Facebook post that the company supported “public policy that provides opportunity for new entrants to join this growing industry” and opposed the CDA lawsuit.

“We believe it will create barriers for all to fully benefit from a safe and legal cannabis industry and perpetuate inequities. We are terminating our membership in the association as of today.” – In Good Health in a Facebook post

It was not immediately clear whether the dispensaries who left the organization would rejoin the association now that the lawsuit has been dropped.

Previously, the CDA told MassLive that it had, “an obligation to its members to ensure the investments made in their communities are protected and that there is fairness in the marketplace,” and that the lawsuit, “protects the intent of the crafters of the law and we are committed to its protection, both now and in the future.”

The lawsuit contended that the period of exclusivity ran afoul of the state’s legalization law and that the rules should never have been promulgated because the law requires three lawfully seated commissioners to approve regulations and that one member was serving as a holdover on the CCC as her term had expired and a new commissioner had not been appointed.

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