Mass. Commission Delays Action on Pot Cafes, Home Deliveries

Marijuana fans hoping to meet up with friends at a pot cafe will have to wait longer.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission voted Monday to delay action on allowing businesses like cafes and lounges to launch.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and law enforcement officials have voiced opposition to allowing pot cafes, saying they could pose a risk to public safety and public health.

Commissioners also voted Monday to delay home delivery of recreational pot, as well.

"Apparently they bought into Governor Baker’s notion that we should go slow,” said Andy Gaus, an advocate for reforming marijuana laws. “Every regulation that makes it hard for legal businesses to operate is a gift to the black market.”

But some marijuana supporters are happy with the latest developments because the commission voiced a commitment that small businesses, including those owned by minorities, will get preference when licenses are granted.

“Overall today was a win,” said Shanel Lindsay, who sits on the advisory board to the commission. “We protected small business.”

Lindsay also says those smaller players entering the pot marketplace need more time to set up shop.

“It allows small businesses the time to get their businesses up and running, get product to actually sell,” said Lindsay.

Sales of recreational marijuana are still set to begin July 1.

Decisions on cafes will likely be made next year.

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