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How to Open A Cannabis Delivery Company in Massachusetts

Want to get a cannabis delivery license in Massachusetts?

How to Open A Cannabis Delivery Company in Massachusetts

Massachusetts cannabis delivery license Big news for recreational delivery licenses came out of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) from its monthly public meeting on May 7th. Most significantly, the CCC voted to move forward with recreational delivery-only licenses and delivery endorsements (delivery endorsements are essentially add-on licenses to existing marijuana businesses). Applications for the license will open on May 28th, 2020, and for two years will be available exclusively for social equity and economic empowerment applicants. The CCC will also use a new “pre-certification” process, in which the CCC does a background check and application review before the applicant receives local approval. The goal is to have the CCC’s approval in hand as applicants go to their local municipality for approval.

Applicants must meet all of the general operational requirements for marijuana establishments found in 935 CMR 500.105 of the Adult Use regulations. In addition to that, Massachusetts imposes special security requirements (935 CMR 500.110(8)) and operational requirements (935 CMR 500.145).

DRIVER AND VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS

Staffing Your Vehicle And Training Your Drivers

All vehicles must be staffed with at least two agents, and at least one agent must remain in the vehicle at all times. 935 CMR 500.110(8)(c). All delivery agents must complete responsible vendor training as required by 935 CMR 500.105(2)(b), which includes training on:

  1. Safely conducting deliveries;
  2. Safe cash handling practices;
  3. Strategies for de-escalating potentially dangerous situations;
  4. Collecting and communicating information to assist in investigations;
  5. Procedures for checking identification;
  6. Indications of impairment;
  7. Notification to Consumers of use of mandatory recording devices; and
  8. Such other areas of training determined by the Commission to be included in a Responsible Vendor Training Program

Agents must report unusual discrepancies in inventory to the CCC and local law enforcement within 24 hours. Agents must also report vehicle accidents, diversions, losses, or other reportable incident within 24 hours. Firearms are strictly prohibited. Under 925 CMR 500.145(1)(f), a vehicle can only have a maximum of $10,000 of marijuana at a time. All deliveries must be tracked using a seed-to-sale SOR designated by the CCC, and deliveries are geographically limited to (1) the licensee’s place of business, and (2) any municipality which allows for retail and/or has notified the CCC that it allows delivery. Unless explicitly authorized by municipal law, deliveries cannot take place outside the window of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM

What Kind of Vehicle Do You Need?

Delivery licensees have unique, additional security requirements under 935 CMR 500.110(8). All vehicles are subject to inspection by the CCC prior to being put in use. Delivery licensees have an obligation to make the CCC aware of their intent to introduce any new vehicles and get them inspected prior to operation.

First, the regulations set forth extensive requirements for security features required on all delivery vehicles. The extensive list of requirements is as follows:

  1. A vehicle security system that includes an exterior alarm;
  2. A secure, locked storage compartment in each vehicle and not easily removable for the purpose of transporting the Marijuana or Marijuana Products;
  3. A secure, locked storage compartment in each vehicle and not easily removable for the purpose of transporting and securing cash used as payment for deliveries of Marijuana or Marijuana Products;
  4. A means of secure communication between each vehicle and the Marijuana Establishment’s dispatching location which shall be capable of being monitored at all times that a vehicle is performing a delivery route. Means of communication shall include:

     

      1. two-way digital or analog radio (UHF or VHF);
      2. Cellular phone; or
      3. Satellite phone.
  5. A global positioning system (GPS) monitoring device that is:
      1. Not a mobile device and that is attached to the vehicle at all times that the vehicle contains Marijuana or Marijuana Products; and
      2. Monitored by the Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement at a fixed location during the transportation of Marijuana or Marijuana Products for the purpose of home delivery with location checks occurring at least every 30 minutes. The Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement may delegate monitoring of the GPS to the Third-party Technology Platform Provider with which the Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement has a contract, provided that the Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall be responsible for ensuring that monitoring occurs as required under 935 CMR 500.000.
  1. A video system that includes one or more video cameras in the storage area of the vehicle and one or more video cameras in the driver area of the vehicle and which shall remain operational at all times during the entire transportation process and which shall have:

     

      1. the ability to produce a clear color still photo whether live or recorded; and
      2. A date and time stamp embedded in all recordings which shall be synchronized and set correctly at all times and shall not significantly obscure the picture.
  2. All security equipment in each vehicle shall be in good working order and shall be inspected and tested at regular intervals, not to exceed 30 calendar days from the previous inspection and test.

Registering And Designing Your Transportation Vehicle

All vehicles must be registered as commercial and inspected by the state. The vehicles cannot have any external markings or symbols that indicate the vehicle is being used for marijuana delivery (e.g., no pot leafs), and marijuana products cannot be visible from outside the vehicle. Each vehicle must have a special secure, locked storage compartment for storing marijuana in each vehicle, as well as a separate storage compartment for cash. Drivers have to contact the licensee when arriving at and leaving any delivery, and at least every 30 minutes throughout the trip. Licensees need a separate log for each vehicle, and for each delivery they need to record:

  1. The location of the originating Marijuana Establishment and date and time the vehicle leaves the location;
  2. The mileage of the transporting vehicle at departure from the Marijuana Establishment mileage on arrival at each Consumer destination, and mileage on return to the Marijuana Establishment;
  3. The date and time of departure from the Marijuana Establishment and arrival at each Consumer destination for each delivery; and
  4. An entry indicating the date and time of the last delivery in an order
  1.  

Want to get a cannabis delivery license in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery License

SECURITY AND RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS

Manifests and Sales Records

Each cannabis delivery in Massachusetts must have a complete manifest, with a duplicate kept with the licensee and retained for at least one year to be made available to the CCC. The manifests must include:

  1. The originating Marijuana Retailer name, address, and License number;
  2. The name and License number of the Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement performing the home delivery;
  3. The names and Marijuana Establishment Agent numbers of the Marijuana Establishment Agents performing the delivery;
  4. The Consumer’s name and address;
  5. A description of the Marijuana or Marijuana Products being transported, including the weight and form or type of product;
  6. Signature lines for the agents who transported the Marijuana or Marijuana Products;
  7. A signature line for Consumer who receives the Marijuana or Marijuana Products; and
  8. The Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement vehicle make, model, and license plate number.

Body Camera Requirements for Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery Licenses

In addition to significant vehicle requirements, delivery drivers (agents) need to have operational body cameras on them at all times when they’re outside of the delivery vehicle. 935 CMR 500.100(8)(b) adds the following requirements for body cameras:

  1. The body camera shall record all deliveries.
  2. Consumers shall be notified of the use of body cameras to record delivery transactions at the time of order, on the proof of order and by the Marijuana Establishment agent on arrival at the Residence.
  3. In addition to providing notice, body cameras shall be displayed conspicuously on the Marijuana Establishment Agent’s person.
  4. A Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall maintain video from body cameras confidentially and protected from disclosure to the full extent allowed by law. The Licensee shall implement data security, records retention, and record destruction policies for body camera video in compliance with applicable federal and state privacy laws, including but not limited to the Driver Privacy Protection Act, 18 USC § 2721, the Massachusetts Identify Theft Act, M.G.L. c. 93H, 201 CMR 17.00: Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth, and the Fair Information Practices Act, M.G.L. c. 66A.
  5. Video of deliveries shall be retained for a minimum of 30 days, or, with notice to the Delivery-only Licensee or Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement, for the duration of an investigation by the Commission or by law enforcement, whichever is longer. To obtain video from a Licensee as part of an investigation, Commission staff shall consult with the Executive Director and to the extent possible, view the video at the place of storage.
  6. A Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall not share or disclose any portion of the information or video footage collected as the result of the use of a body camera pursuant to 935 CMR 500.110(8)(b) to any third party not explicitly authorized by 935 CMR 500.000 to have access to that video footage, subject to the exceptions in 935 CMR 500.110(8)(b)6.a. and b.
      1. A Licensee or Marijuana Establishment shall make video footage available to law enforcement officers acting in his or her official capacity pursuant to a validly issued court order or search warrant demonstrating probable cause.
      2. Nothing in 935 CMR 500.110(8)6. shall prohibit law enforcement from performing a constitutionally valid search or seizure including, but not limited to, circumstances that present an imminent danger to safety, and other exceptional or emergency circumstances where time or opportunity to apply for a warrant is lacking.

DELIVERY PROTOCOL

Making Marijuana Deliveries in Massachusetts 

The state imposes strict protocols on how, when, and to whom deliveries can be made. 935 CMR 500.145(2) provides:

  1. All Marijuana and Marijuana Products delivered by a Delivery-only Licensee shall be obtained from a licensed Marijuana Retailer with which the Delivery-only Licensee has a Delivery Agreement.
  2. Orders for home delivery shall be received by a Marijuana Retailer and transmitted to a Delivery-only Licensee for delivery to a Residence.
  3. Only Marijuana Products that are Shelf-stable may be delivered. Products that are perishable or time and temperature controlled to prevent deterioration shall not be allowed to be delivered by a Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement.
  4. Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsements shall deliver Marijuana or Marijuana Products only to the Residence address provided. Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsements shall be prohibited from delivering to college or university dormitories; and federal public housing identified at https://resources.hud.gov/.
  5. Delivery-only Licensees shall only deliver Marijuana or Marijuana Products for which a specific order has been received by a licensed Marijuana Retailer with which the Delivery-only Licensee has a Delivery Agreement. Delivery-only Licensees are prohibited from delivering Marijuana or Marijuana Products without a specific order destined for an identified Residence. An order may be generated directly through a Marijuana Retailer or through a Third-party Technology Platform identified to the Commission under 935 CMR 500.145(1)(e).
  6. Marijuana Establishments with a Delivery Endorsement shall only deliver Marijuana or Marijuana Products for which a specific order has been received. Marijuana Establishments with a Delivery Endorsement are prohibited from delivering Marijuana or Marijuana Products without a specific order destined for an identified Residence. An order may be generated directly through a Marijuana Establishments with a Delivery Endorsement or through a Third-party Technology Platform identified to the Commission under 935 CMR 500.145(1)(e).
  7. Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsements are prohibited from delivery of more Marijuana or Marijuana Products to an individual Consumer than the individual possession amounts authorized by M.G.L. c. 94G, § 7(a)(1). An Individual Order shall not exceed one ounce of Marijuana or its dry-weight equivalent. The Individual Order shall only be delivered to the individual Consumer identified on the order after verification of the individual’s identity consistent with the requirements of 935 CMR 500.140(2)(d) and 935 CMR 500.145(3). Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsements shall only deliver one Individual Order, per Consumer, during each delivery.
  8. A Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall not deliver to the same Consumer at the same Residence more than once each calendar day and only during authorized delivery hours.
  9. For home delivery, each order must be packaged and labeled in accordance with 935 CMR 500.105(5) and (6) originating the order prior to transportation by the Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement to the Consumer.
  10. Any Marijuana or Marijuana Product that is undeliverable or is refused by the Consumer shall be transported back to the originating Marijuana Establishment that provided the product once all other deliveries included on a delivery manifest have been made. Delivery-only Licensees or Marijuana Establishments with a Delivery Endorsement are prohibited from maintaining custody of Marijuana or Marijuana Products intended for delivery overnight. It shall be the responsibility of the Delivery-only Licensee or Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement to ensure that any undelivered product is returned to the appropriate Marijuana Retailer and not retained by the Delivery-only Licensee or Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement.

Consumer Age Verification

  1. A Marijuana Retailer shall require any Consumer making a purchase for delivery by a Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall require any Consumer making a purchase for delivery to have the government-issued photo identification a Consumer intends to use to verify her or his age at the time of delivery examined and authenticated by the Marijuana Retailer prior to the first Individual Order
    1. Pre-verification of the Consumer’s identification shall be performed in-person at the Marijuana Retailer’s physical location or through a Commission approved electronic means and shall include examination of the Consumer’s valid, unexpired government issued photo identification that bears a date of birth in accordance with 935 CMR 500.140(2)(d). A Delivery-only Licensee or Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement is prohibited from performing a delivery to any Consumer who has not established an account for delivery through Pre-verification of the Consumer’s identification by the Marijuana Retailer.
    2. Pre-verification of the Consumer’s identification shall be performed by a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement through a Commission approved electronic means and shall include examination of the Consumer’s valid, unexpired government issued photo identification that bears a date of birth. A Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement is prohibited from performing a delivery to any Consumer who has not established an account for delivery through Pre-verification of the Consumer’s identification.
  2. A Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall not deliver Marijuana or Marijuana Products to any Person other than the Consumer who ordered the Marijuana or Marijuana Products.
  3. A Delivery-only Licensee or a Marijuana Establishment with a Delivery Endorsement shall verify the age and identity of the Consumer at the time at which the Marijuana or Marijuana Products are delivered to the Consumer at a Residence to ensure that Marijuana and Marijuana Products are not delivered to individuals younger than 21 years old. Prior to relinquishing custody of the Marijuana or Marijuana Products to the Consumer, the Marijuana Establishment Agent conducting the delivery shall verify that the identification of the Consumer receiving the Marijuana or Marijuana Products matches the pre-verified identification of the Consumer who placed the order for delivery by:
      1. Viewing the valid government-issued photo identification as provided for Preverification under 935 CMR 500.145(3)(a);
      2. Viewing proof of order generated at the time of order; and
      3. Receiving the signature of the Consumer who ordered the Marijuana or Marijuana Products on the manifest for the Marijuana or Marijuana Products and verifying that the signature matches the government-issued photo identification presented.

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