Two Massachusetts pharmacies have announced that they will end their Commonwealth Dispensary Association membership. This decision is made a few days after the CDA has filed a lawsuit, which some have called “Attack on Equity” in the states cannabis Industry.
Garden Remedies announced its decision on Saturday morning. NETA decided to leave the CDA on Friday. Both cited a commitment to equity support in Massachusetts as the state prepares to begin home deliveries of cannabis, an opportunity that will only be available to applicants of equity for three years.
“Decades of” war on drugs “and the disproportionate damage such measures cause members of certain communities cannot be removed simply by ignoring the past or” leveling off “the playing field from now on, a statement said Garden Remedies. “Specific, targeted and aggressive action needs to be taken to acknowledge the issues and create a roadmap for a better, more inclusive industry. As such, and in support of critical economic empowerment and social justice programs, Garden Remedies has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Dispensary Association. “
The CDAs Lawsuit against the State Cannabis Control Commission was released earlier this week after being re-announced Regulations introducing a marijuana operator license that allows the wholesale purchase of cannabis to be stored and then sold and delivered. There is also a courier license that applicants can use to partner with retailers to deliver direct to consumers. Couriers can charge, but cannot sell, process, store, or repackage goods.
Both license types are reserved exclusively for members of government programs for social justice or economic empowerment for the first three years.
The CDA asserts that granting an exclusivity period to equity applicants violates the Commission’s statute, GL c. 94G.
“Since the Commission’s new delivery rules are in direct conflict with the Commission’s enabling law to allow delivery, but not from licensed marijuana retailers under their existing retail licenses, they cannot exist,” the lawsuit said.
CCC Social Justice and Economic Empowerment Program members are struggling to find funding to get their businesses up and running. Many believe that the delivery licenses will finally have a place at the table.
“The leadership of NETA and Parallel made the decision on Friday to end membership of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association,” said Joseph Daddario III, President of NETA. “We do this because of our belief in and commitment to promoting social justice and economic empowerment in the cannabis industry not just in Massachusetts but throughout our organization and in all of the states in which we work.”
The lawsuit also argues that the new rules should not be promulgated. The CDA alleged that the law required three legally seated commissioners and stated that the Shaleen Title was serving as a holdover for the commission. Their seat had expired and a new commissioner had not yet been appointed. A seat of former Commissioner Kay Doyle was vacant. Former Commissioner Britte McBride was still in her seat but had already announced her plans to resign.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Association for Delivery believes the CDA lawsuit misinterprets the legal authority and intent of Chapter 94G.
“MCAD calls on the CDA to drop this lawsuit and stop allowing industry players seeking capital advantage to exploit and disqualify social justice claimants and prevent the CCC from using the social justice component met the electoral initiative that the residents of the Commonwealth passed in 2016, ”the group said in a statement.