Massachusetts Proposes Changes to Cannabis Energy Rules

Massachusetts Proposes Changes to Cannabis Energy Rules

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission published their draft adult use rules (935 CMR 500.000) and draft medical use rules (935 CMR 501.000). There are a few potential energy-related game-changers, whose implications are uncertain, so if you're motivated please review and comment. The CCC will hear comments until 5:00 p.m. ET on August 15, 2019 via email (CannabisCommission@State.MA.US; subject = “Draft Regulations:Adult Use of Marijuana” or “Draft Regulations: Medical Use of Marijuana”) or snail mail (Cannabis Control Commission, 101 Federal Street, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02110; Attention: Public Comments). CCC will also hold two public hearings: August 14, 2019, 10:00 a.m. ET at the Health Policy Commission at 50 Milk Street, 8th Floor Boston, MA 02109August 15, 2019, 10:00 a.m. ET at Western New England University School of Law, Moot Court Room 1215, Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119 In short: None of the original energy rules were repealed.Energy-related rules for medical growers are effectively identical to adult-use.There is no mention of a preferred...
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CCC’s Energy and Environment Working Group At Bat

CCC’s Energy and Environment Working Group At Bat

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s efforts to refine its regulations for energy and environmental performance for cultivation and product manufacturing facilities are now officially underway. Last week, the Commission convened the first meeting of its long-awaited Energy and Environment Working Group (EEWG). Membership in the group is so far limited to the bare minimum required by the law: designees from the Department of Energy Resources, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Agricultural Resources. A CCC representative sits on the EEWG but does not have a vote. The meeting itself was perfunctory, essentially a pre-game show to the main event. But it did reveal that the EEWG intends to inform itself to some degree through a series of listening sessions across the state. The Group proposed to itself a series of public listening sessions across the state later this summer with the stated objective of hearing from a range of stakeholders, including growers, ancillary service providers, other businesses and industries, and...
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Five things you need to know about the Massachusetts cannabis energy rules

Five things you need to know about the Massachusetts cannabis energy rules

Are you concerned about what Massachusetts’s energy and environmental regulations may mean for your young cannabis cultivation, extraction or dispensary business? My advice: inform yourself, do your homework, and don’t pack your bags. Before you walk away in frustration, here are five things you should know about the current rules: 1. Yes, most of the regulations apply to ALL marijuana businesses planning to operate in Massachusetts. In section 500.105: General Operational Requirements for Marijuana Establishments (1) (p), the state calls for every marijuana business applicant - including cultivators, manufacturers, labs, retails, transporters, and researchers - to demonstrate consideration of energy efficiency, renewable energy and utility rebate programs. The state has not yet offered specific guidance on what might constitute an appropriate level of consideration in an application, but an effective response will show that you have thought about how you may: Integrate renewable energy into your power acquisition plan (and if not, why not), Deploy technologies or approaches to optimize your facility's...
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CCC raises the bar on indoor cannabis cultivation

CCC raises the bar on indoor cannabis cultivation

At yesterday’s public meeting at the Massachusetts State House, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) agreed to include the recommendations of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. If these recommendations are included in the CCC’s final regulations filed by March 15 of this year, Massachusetts will be light-years ahead of any other state in regulating the energy and environmental impact of legal cannabis cultivation and product manufacturing. Several of the proposed regulations are groundbreaking in their own right, and in sum they are a BFD (to paraphrase Joe Biden). But what are they? What are their implications for the cannabis industry? Should advocates for a greener cannabis industry have buyer’s remorse? A lighting power density (LPD) standard of no more than 36 W per square foot of canopy for a cultivation facility with over 5,000 ft² of canopy.  [UPDATE: The final regulations offer an olive branch to growers, giving them the flexibility to meet the LPD standard as an...
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Forgot Something, Commissioner Hoffman?

Forgot Something, Commissioner Hoffman?

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...
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