Last week, Massachusetts’ newly-formed Cannabis Control Commission held its first formal meetings.
At its second meeting, the Commission distributed a draft working agenda (whether the CCC intended its release is not clear, but regardless the document is now publicly available – though buried – on the Mass.gov website. H/T to Dan Adams of the Boston Globe for turning it up). The agenda helpfully shows the issues the Commissioners are planning to tackle and how they are divvying up the job. It’s an eye-opening document and a welcome sneak peek into a state bureaucracy getting to work. If not no other reason, it’s worth a look to see how Bain trains its people to organize projects.
Glaringly absent from the list, however, was any mention whatsoever of the Commission’s statutory obligations to create energy and environmental performance standards for marijuana cultivation facilities operating in the state or a plan to involve traditional agriculture. A charitable reading of the list suggests that of course they’re thinking about it and that it’s just so obvious they don’t need to mention it. That maybe these tasks are implied somewhere between the bullets. Maybe?
But for more cynical observers, this omission demonstrates a willful neglect of the Commission’s responsibility to create regulations that seek to prevent the industry from riding roughshod over our fair Commonwealth’s energy grid, air, and water. It is clear that these standards are not top of mind for most people thinking about a legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts and watching this Commission, but the fact remains that these five Commissioners are legally bound to take this task seriously and with the same sense of urgency as other issue on the agenda.
Climate Resources Group and its allies are watching this space closely and will work to ensure that the Commission does its job as outlined in the bill. All of the members of the legislature that signed the bill plus Governor Baker are expecting that the state will create standards that respect the state’s clear leadership on energy and environmental protection and explore ways to involve the outdoor farming community. If not, perhaps our friends at Conservation Law Foundation will want to have a word with Commissioner Hoffman and Secretary Goldberg.
Watch this space.