Massachusetts marijuana regulators on Monday decided to cancel a long-planned pilot program for the rollout of cannabis consumption cafes, a move they hope will get such lounges open sooner instead of later.
The original pilot program called for only 12 localities to open consumption lounges and cafes, but members of the Cannabis Control Commission decided that scale was too small and out-of-date, given that it was part of industry rules that are now four years old, GBH News reported.
The pilot program would have been “burdensome and expensive,” said commissioner Bruce Stebbins. Instead, the commission opted for a broader lounge licensing approach.
Since the pilot program was originally conceived, the state legislature also approved changes that allow city and county government to opt in or out of cannabis consumption areas, GBH News reported.
Cannabis industry trade group Equitable Opportunities Now had called for the pilot program to be thrown out.
The next step will be for the commission to solicit public input before writing new regulations for consumption lounges. One virtual meeting between the commissioners and regulators from other states is already slated for June.