VGR Law Firm LLC

Practice Areas

Massachusetts: Medical & Adult-Use Cannabis Licensing

Cannabis Control Commision

Applications & Licensing

Unlike a Registered Marijuana Dispensary, which is required to cultivate, process, and retail its own marijuana and marijuana products for medical use, an adult use Marijuana Establishment may opt only to participate in a particular part of the industry. VGR Law Firm will work with you to customize applications which have been previously approved by the Commission, so that your license application is approved quickly and at affordable rates.  

The Cannabis Control Commission requires applicants to provide accurate information about the business, individuals, and entities associated with the business as well as demonstrate understanding of, and plans to comply with, the Commission’s regulations that are specific to the applicant’s license type, location, and scale. VGR Law Firm assists applicants with navigating the application and licensing processes as well as helping to determine the type of licenses they want to obtain.  

Once a license application is received, it is reviewed for compliance with the Commission’s regulations. If any part of the application does not comply with the Commission’s regulations, the applicant will receive a notice requesting further information, commonly referred to as an RFI. All RFI notices will contain information on any deficiency or non-compliant issue identified with a brief narrative and VGR Law Firm has years of experience responding to these types of requests. 

Operating Plans, Policies, & Procedures

All applicants must submit certain plans, policies, and procedures related to operating a Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center license. These plans, policies, and procedures should be specifically drafted to comply with the Commission’s regulations and guidance documents and include but are not limited to:  

  • Security Plan 
  • Prevention of Diversion 
  • Storage  
  • Transportation  
  • Inventory  
  • Quality Control and Testing Procedures 
  • Personnel Policies  
  • Dispensing Procedures 
  • Recordkeeping Procedures 
  • Maintenance of Financial Records 
  • Qualifications and Intended Trainings for Agents 
  • Energy Compliance Plan 
  • Restricting Access to Individuals 21 or Older 
  • Diversity Plan 
  • Plan for Positive Impact 

The Commission and its staff are diligent in scrutinizing every aspect of your application. Delays created by drafting errors, or simply not knowing what the Commission is looking for can set your opening day back by months.  

Inspections

Prior to final licensure, the Commission will review architectural plans for the building or renovation of the Marijuana Establishment and construction or renovation related to such plans may not begin until the Commission has granted approval. After construction is complete, the Commission may, at any time, conduct an inspection of the facilities, as well as review all written materials for compliance with the regulations.

After a Marijuana Establishment has been licensed, the Commission may request access to the company’s papers, books, documents, records, correspondence, electronic communications, and other tangible things to examine and inspect. Such examination and inspection may include interrogatories to parties or subpoenas to compel the production of papers, books, documents, records, correspondence, electronic communications, and other tangible things. The examination and inspection of a Marijuana Establishment may also include the interview of material witnesses, registered agents or Close Associates whom the Commission has determined is involved in the financing, management or operation of an establishment.

VGR Law Firm has years of experience dealing with the Commission throughout all stages of the application, licensure, and operating process to ensure compliance with all inspections and deficiencies.

Deficiency Notices & Plans of Correction

Occasionally an operator will run afoul of what the Commission feels is appropriate.  In those instances that licensee will be sent a Deficiency Notice and a request for a Plan of Correction by the Commission.  VGR Law Firm has experience responding to such notices.  Sometimes the plan is as simple as ceasing the conduct, other times the licensee may wish to push back and explain to the Commission why they believe the conduct is in fact permissible.  Sometimes this interaction will force a regulatory change.

License Renewals

As part of the license renewal process, licensees will update their operating procedures, and demonstrate compliance with their previously submitted plans for positive impact and diversity plans.  At VGR Law Firm we have completed license renewals for every license type and are available to assist with your renewal. 

All licensees that have been approved by the Commission for a provisional license, final license, or have commenced operation must renew their license annually. VGR Law Firm has extensive experience working with the Commission to remedy any existing issues and obtaining renewal licenses.  

License Amendments

Once an applicant is at least provisionally licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission, certain changes to a license must be approved by the Commission before the change is effectuated. The changes that first require Commission approval include:  

  • Changes to ownership; 
  • Changes to control; 
  • Change of location; 
  • Change of name; 
  • Change in structure; 
  • Changes to contact information for the business or associated individuals and entities; 
  • Changes to plans, policies, and procedures; and 
  • Changes to hours of operation. 

VGR Law Firm has extensive experience working with the Commission to obtain the above approvals quickly.  

Guidance on Equity Programs

VGR Law Firm assists stakeholders in understanding Cannabis Control Commission benefits directly intended for disproportionately harmed people, known as the Social Equity applicants, and for businesses that economically empower disproportionately harmed people, known as Economic Empowerment applicants, and for minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.  

Regulatory Compliance & Interpretation

We provide advice to cannabis businesses on all types of federal, state, and local laws and rules, helping them understand regulatory efforts and assisting them to collaborate closely with authorities. We assist businesses to achieve their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations which will reduce deficiencies and investigations.  

Advice on Legal Limits on Ownership & Control

Cannabis Control Commission license applicants are required to disclose close associates and members of the applicant as well as controlling persons. This includes any individual or entity who holds a relevant managerial, operational, or financial interest in the business of an applicant or licensee and, by virtue of that interest or power, is able to exercise a significant influence over the management, operations, or finances of the establishment. VGR Law Firm provides guidance for the legal limits on ownership and control of Marijuana Establishment licenses and can provide advice on structing to meet Commission requirements.