The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has voted to extend several coronavirus pandemic-related medical cannabis policies, including telehealth consultations and curbside pickup, according to a Boston University Statehouse Program report. The initial policies were approved in March 2020 and since then 80% of first-time medical cannabis consultations were conducted via telehealth, the report says.
Even as the pandemic waned and pandemic-related restrictions loosened, the majority – 53% – of initial consultations were conducted remotely, according to CCC data outlined in the report. The agency voted to extend the telehealth policies until the end of the year.
During the vote last week, Commissioner Kimberly Roy called the extension “at odds with existing regulations.” Then-Gov. Charlie Baker (R) lifted the state’s pandemic emergency policies last spring.
“The pandemic is winding down, so we can’t just keep kicking the can. If we are voting on an extension, I hope it’s the last one and that we are able to address this in regulation at some time.” — Roy via the Statehouse Program report
Some commission members voiced concerns that extending curbside pickup rules could lead to drive-thru windows, which are not permitted under the state’s medical or adult-use cannabis laws. Currently, there are 13 medical dispensaries offering curbside pickup, compared to 30 in December 2021.
The curbside pickup policies were also extended through the end of the year.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe