August 27, 2018

CCC set to take over medical pot program

Photo | Matt Wright
Marijuana plants growing at Sira Naturals' Milford facility.

As it works to get the non-medical marijuana market up and running, the Cannabis Control Commission is planning to work up regulations this fall to assume control and oversight of the state's medical marijuana program in December.

The program has been run by the Department of Public Health since voters approved it in 2012, but lawmakers last summer rewrote the state's marijuana laws and required that the CCC assume control of the medical program by the end of 2018.

On Thursday, CCC Executive Director Shawn told the commission that he plans to bring draft regulations for medical marijuana to the CCC at its next meeting and to open a nearly two-month public comment that same day.

"Given the regulatory timeline we're up against, in order to effectuate a transfer by the end of this calendar year as statutorily required, we would need to begin in earnest ... my hope would be to able to bring draft regulations relative to the medical use of marijuana before the commission by September 6," Collins said.

Collins said his plan is to release the draft regulations Sept. 6 and hold at least two public hearings on the proposal by Oct. 29, when the public comment period would close. The CCC would hold a meeting Nov. 1 to discuss the comments and would be expected to take a vote on the final regulations on or before Nov. 30.

Collins said he has been working closely with DPH to prepare for the transfer and expects the CCC's medical marijuana regulations will be very similar to DPH's recently-revised regulations.

"It's largely been working with the Department of Public Health to understand their existing regulations. We've looked at really facilitating the transfer to assume the program as it exists today," Collins said when asked to describe the process of preparing the draft regulations. "From a scope or a spirit standpoint, it will largely be what it is today with very few modifications."

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