Massachusetts: Medical & Adult-Use Cannabis Licensing
The Host Community Agreement is the fundamental step in local approvals which is separate and apart from the Cannabis Control Commission’s licensing process. Before being issued a provisional license to operate as a Marijuana Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center, the applicant and municipality must execute an HCA and the municipality must submit a certification of this agreement to the Commission. Obtaining the HCA and that certification can be one of the most challenging parts of this process.
The Community Outreach meeting is another step at the local level an applicant must satisfy to be awarded a license by the Cannabis Control Commission. You must invite the local community to ask questions, and explain the project, particularly aspects related to zoning, nuisance, board of health regulations, security, diversion to minors, the host community agreement, and taxes. Valerio has done these many times across Massachusetts. While you cannot convince everyone, the goal is to calm the fears of the residents of the city or town in which you intend to site.
Local permitting described in zoning bylaws and ordinances can be a drawn-out process that has intense scrutiny from all the municipal departments. Does your business plan to sell infused products? If so, have you considered the local board of health? Have you met with police, fire, traffic, the conservation commission, and historical? Getting the local permit application perfect from the outset can save you time and money in the long run.
Choosing the best site for your business can determine whether it will succeed in the years to come. At the outset, neighbors and abutters can be a significant obstacle if they are not approached properly. Eventually, issues like parking and traffic can make or break the viability of a business. VGR Law Firm has extensive experience drafting and negotiating Letters of Intent to Lease and/or Purchase real estate, landlord interaction, and property disputes. VGR Law Firm can handle everything from buy/sell contracts and mechanic’s liens to boundary-line or zoning disputes and co-ownership issues and will defend your rights under the law and will help ensure outcomes that are in your best interest.
Realtors will tell you that the property they are marketing fits the local bylaw or ordinance. But does it really? The only way to really know is by performing a zoning analysis. Including VGR Law Firm and an engineer in Valerio’s network to do that setback and zoning analysis is critical. If the property falls outside of current zoning, but nevertheless would be an appropriate location for a cannabis business, it may make sense to amend zoning. Valerio’s experience in zoning amendments and related applications includes rezoning Harvard Square in Cambridge for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary.
The local hearing and meetings are a fundamental part of local permit awards. There is no other attorney in Massachusetts that has more experience in these meetings and hearings related to Cannabis in Massachusetts than Valerio. Valerio will run the show at these hearings and meetings. Should you need engineers, architects, and security contractors, Valerio will coordinate with them to ensure the best possible outcome for your local application.