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Delivery Lawsuit Dropped In Massachusetts

The suit, aimed at stopping a new industry opportunity for social equity applicants, was facing backlash from advocates.

Artem Podrez

A group representing medical and adult-use dispensaries in Massachusetts has dropped its lawsuit against the state over a new delivery business license available only to social equity applicants.

Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) approved the new type of delivery license that allows marijuana companies to store inventory in a warehouse and deliver their own products direct to consumers. The new license differs from the courier delivery license that was approved last year, which allows third-party companies to pick up pot products from dispensaries and deliver them to customers. 

The CCC introduced the new delivery license to increase the state’s social equity efforts, which had largely underwhelmed. Delivery businesses were chosen as they allow entry into the Cannabis industry without the prohibitive startup costs or long-term overhead associated with a retail storefront. And the new license would be available only to qualified social equity applicants for the first three years. 

While the state’s established Cannabis companies had no issue with the courier license – which simply allows a delivery company to pick up product from an existing Cannabis dispensary and deliver it to customers – the new delivery model angered dispensary owners, leading to a lawsuit. The Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA), representing most of the state’s dispensary owners, sued the CCC over the new license. However, the suit was met with criticism from advocates and industry professionals who believe that Massachusetts has already under delivered on promises of equity programs that never materialized. Many felt a lawsuit aimed at undoing a promising social equity plan was regressive. 

Facing backlash, many of the group’s members, including New England Treatment Access, Garden Remedies and In Good Health, left the CDA over the suit. Soon after, the group dropped the lawsuit, stating it had “determined it is in the best interest of the industry and our members … We all need to be working together on achieving our many shared objectives, including increasing the participation of a diverse set of entrepreneurs in the industry.”