The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Question 4 passed on the November 8, 2016. The law legalized recreational marijuana cultivation, possession, and the use in public by people 21 years and older. On July 28, 2017, Governor Charles D. Baker signed into law Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, An Act to ensure safe access to marijuana. The Cannabis Control Commission began accepting licensing applications in April 2018. The commission will accept applications for marijuana retailer, marijuana product manufacturer, and marijuana cultivator licenses. No more than 75 licenses will be issued for each license type.
Medical Marijuana in MA
In 2012, 63% of Bay State voters approved Question 3, making Mass the 18th state to enact a medical marijuana program. Due to delays in the application and licensing process, it took nearly 3 years for the first dispensary to open. In 2015, the Department opened up their application process for non-profit organizations that wish to apply for a Certificate of Registration to operate a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (“RMD”) in Massachusetts.
Trulieve Becomes First MSO to Launch Clone Sales in Massachusetts
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. , Aug. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States , today announced it has successfully launched a pilot program selling its premium-quality cannabis clones at its Northampton, MA dispensary, in accordance with state law. This marks a significant first-to-market entry for the Company, where it is now the only multi state operator (MSO) to provide home growers with its products in the form of consistent, healthy, top-tier plants.
"Trulieve supports home grow initiatives in Massachusetts and we are excited to offer our top-tier genetics to those who would prefer to grow their own cannabis plants at home," said Kim Rivers , CEO of Trulieve. "We’re delivering on our promise to meet cannabis consumers wherever they are in their level of experience, as well as our commitment to expanding access to the plant as we continue to grow in the Massachusetts market."
At the time of program launch, Trulieve is releasing a limited amount of its Chocolope NewBerry Sativa strain, which can be ordered online through the Company’s Northampton location website and will be available for in-store pickup at 216 North King Street, Northampton, MA beginning Friday, August 20 . Clones will be sold in packs of three and sales limited to one per customer during the initial launch phase. In the future, the Company plans to offer different strains based on consumer feedback and will expand clone availability across its Massachusetts locations.
For citizens of Massachusetts interested in home grow, the launch of Trulieve’s clone program represents a new opportunity to access the highest-quality genetics in a ready-to-grow format and ensures clone consistency and quality not previously available in the state. Cannabis clones carry the exact same genetic potential as their mother plant and will have similar cannabinoid and terpene profiles when grown properly. When clones are selected from healthy, high-quality mother plants, they also inherit their vigor, and natural resistance to mold, mildew, and pests.
For further information on the Massachusetts home grow program, please see the guidance document provided by the Cannabis Control Commission and refer to the home cultivation section of the Commission’s website.
Trulieve is primarily a vertically integrated "seed-to-sale" company in the U.S. and is the first and largest fully licensed medical cannabis company in the State of Florida . Trulieve cultivates and produces all of its products in-house and distributes those products to Trulieve-branded stores (dispensaries) throughout the State of Florida , as well as directly to patients via home delivery. Trulieve also holds licenses to operate in California , Massachusetts , Pennsylvania , Connecticut , and West Virginia . Trulieve is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol TRUL and trades on the OTCQX market under the symbol TCNNF.
To learn more about Trulieve, visit www.Trulieve.com.
The Canadian Securities Exchange has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the content of this news release.
Is seed-to-sale tracking coming to Maine’s medical market?
A recent major drug bust in central Maine has renewed discussion about how to regulate its medical cannabis market. Operators participating in the state’s adult-use market are required to use the METRC seed-to-sale tracking system, but the lack of a seed-to-sale system for medical leaves almost all operators susceptible to illicit trafficking as a result.
Maine currently has five registered medical cannabis dispensaries that are all vertically-integrated operations. The state also has about 3,000 registered medical cannabis caregivers, who are allowed to cultivate, wholesale and deliver cannabis. These smaller operators would likely be the most affected by additional regulation.
“I think it’s necessary,” said Alex Andolina, sales manager for Above All Greenery. “It’s something that anybody that’s been in the industry pretty knows it was coming. If you fail to prepare for it, you’re preparing to fail.”
Above All Greenery is a medical wholesaler that operates a 6,000 square-foot cultivation site in West Newfield in southwest Maine. Andolina said that there had been discussion in the state about implementing a tracking system on medical cannabis for at least two years before the Farmington bust happened.
“The pandemic has basically prolonged it being implemented. it’s one of those things I feel that if you’re not prepared, you should have been,” he said. “Even five years ago when I moved up into this state to do this, I knew eventually the hammer would come down hard on businesses.”
Raven Foss operates Raven’s View Farms, also located in southwest Maine. The business cultivates and delivers cannabis to medical patients. Having to use a seed-to-sale tracking system would create an unfair burden on her business, according to Foss.
“I have to say I am not in favor of a seed-to-sale tracking requirement,” she said. “Growing cannabis is an extremely labor and time intensive profession and adding onerous record keeping on top of what we already are required to do would probably put a lot of us smaller caregivers out of business. I already keep track of my sales, and pay my taxes. Other than unnecessary overreach, I don’t see the point.”
Renewed concern over seed-to-sale tracking comes following the Oct. 27 arrest of 13 individuals allegedly involved in a $13 million illicit cannabis ring. The Department of Justice alleges that the defendants planned to obtain and distribute over 1,000 kilograms of flower and 1,000 cannabis plants. Prosecutors charge the operation took advantage of Maine’s medical cannabis program, which does not require seed tracking.
Erik Gundersen, director of the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy, said that he believed there was more criminal activity taking place within the medical cannabis market at a Nov. 10 hearing. During the hearing Gundersen said that without a seed tracing system his office was limited at enforcing violations, because of its relatively small staff compared to the state’s expansive caregiver and medical cannabis market.
“What the regulatory body here has been trying to do, unsuccessfully so, is to get some parity between the medical and adult-use market,” said Matt Baylis, founder of cannabis cultivator Gėlė, in South Portland. “In the medical market it’s very much unregulated.”
Although Bayliss tends to be skeptical of how cannabis in the state is regulated, he does see value in some additional oversight of medical cannabis.
“I think there needs to be some regulation for the medical market to protect it from itself,” he said. “There are people that are pushed out by larger operators that exploit the caregiver model.”