By Devyani Chhetri
BU News Service
BOSTON – The Cannabis Control Commission reconvened Thursday and ironed out fee structures, compliance requirements and terminologies in draft regulations related to delivery licenses discussed in a meeting on Sept. 11.
In a discussion about regulatory language, Commissioner Britte McBride recommended that a cannabis licensee may hold up to a total of either three delivery licenses, retail licenses, or wholesale licenses, or a combination of the three types.
McBride also suggested a fee structure where limited delivery license holders – companies allowed to deliver finished marijuana products from primary producers to consumers – would have to pay a $1,500 application fee and $5,000 for the license. As for the wholesale delivery licenses, applicants would have to pay the standard $1,500 for the application fee and $10,000 for the permit.
McBride recommended that in the first year of the three-year “exclusivity period,” where only social equity and economic empowerment applicants will receive licenses, a 100% fee waiver should be given to the limited delivery licensees. This way, it ensures the delivery market does not slip into a trend that only benefits a select few businesses.
From the second year on, McBride said, a 50% waiver should be given to qualified applicants. After the exclusivity period, the standard fee of $5,000 would continue to apply every time a license is renewed.
For the conditions to allow white labeling, meaning the ability of a delivery company to affix their logo, brand and manufacturing details on the products, McBride said that licensees should seek approval from the commission beforehand.
Commissioner Shaleen Title, who said in the Sept. 11 meeting that she was “neutral” about white labeling, aired some concerns surrounding the regulation.
“The idea that we can have one identical product that’s being manufactured or cultivated and then have multiple retailers or delivery operators branding them in different ways, and then potentially pricing them differently based solely on the branding,” Title said. “I don’t have that problem, of course, with t-shirts, but when it’s the same product and it’s a drug, I have some discomfort.”
Title said she wanted to mark this provision for public comment. Among other concerns raised, Title suggested changing the name of the “wholesale delivery license” type to “delivery operator license.”
“Wholesaling” usually implies the activities of a manufacturer or cultivator selling to the retailer. In this case, wholesaling is used to define the transaction between a retailer and a consumer. This may imply that delivery companies are participating in activities that they’re not, according to Title.
McBride agreed and said that some “thoughtfulness” needed to go into framing terms for regulations.
Title said that framing could be a source of issues for municipalities in developing the delivery licensing type.
“People are not watching our meetings, they are not reading our material, so they rely on what the licenses are called on paper,” she said.
Chairman Steven Hoffman intervened and said that the definition of the wholesale marijuana delivery license could be clarified to highlight that a licensee is authorized to “purchase” marijuana products from cultivators and microbusinesses at wholesale, but not sell the products at wholesale.
The commission will reconvene again to discuss the final regulations related to delivery licenses next month.