SENATE DOCKET, NO. SD2041
FILED ON: 1/16/2009
SENATE . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Stanley C. Rosenberg (BY REQUEST)
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts in General
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully
petition for the passage of the accompanying bill:
An Act to Regulate and Tax the Cannabis Industry.
Richard M. Evans 56 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand and Nine
AN ACT TO REGULATE AND TAX THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
The governor and the representatives of the people
of Massachusetts, acknowledging that previous efforts have not succeeded
in eliminating or curtailing marijuana use and abuse; determined to exercise
some measure of control over the use of cannabis consistent with respect
for individual freedom and responsibility; and declaring our objectives to
be the reduction of cannabis abuse, the elimination of marijuana-related crime
and the raising of public revenue, do hereby ordain and enact The Cannabis
Regulation and Taxation Act.
Section 1. This act consists initially of 45 sections,
which together shall be known as The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act.
It shall be codified as Chapter 13A of the general laws
Section 2. The following conduct is hereby excepted
from the provisions of, and shall not constitute a violation of chapter
94C of the general laws:
a. Possession or cultivation of cannabis by
an adult for personal use.
b. Gratuitous distribution of cannabis to an
adult. Transfer directly or indirectly related to or contemporaneous
with the sale or tendering for sale of any goods, services or other things
of value, shall be deemed not gratuitous.
c. Possession or distribution of cannabis under a
valid license issued in accordance with this act.
Section 3. This act shall in no way affect existing provisions
of law relating to the operation of a motor vehicle under the influence
of an intoxicant.
Section 4. . When used in this chapter, the following words shall,
unless the context indicates otherwise, have the following meanings:
a. ACT: This chapter of the General Laws of Massachusetts, also
known as The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, as amended.
b. ADULT: A person over twenty-one years of age.
c. AUTHORITY. The Cannabis Control Authority established by section
d. CANNABIS: Any part of the plant Cannabis sativa L, or Cannabis
indica, or any other variety of the genus cannabis, whether growing or
not; the seeds thereof; and resin extracted from any part of the plant,
and every compound, manufacture, salt derivative, mixture or preparation
of the plant, its seeds or resin. It does not include the mature
stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from
the seeks of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt derivative,
mixture or preparation of the mature stalks except the resin extracted therefrom.,
fiber, oil or cake or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable
of germination. Cannabis containing less than 1% THC is not subject to the
provisions of this act.
e. COMMERCIAL: Of or related to a non-gratuitous exchange; with
f. CULTIVATE: To cause or permit to grow.
g. DOMESTIC: originating from or within Massachusetts.
h. CULTIVATION LICENSE: A License issued in accordance with Section
10 of this act.
Ii . FARMER-PROCESSOR-RETAILER: a person licensed in accordance with
section ten10 to cultivate, process and sell cannabis from a single premises.
j. IMPORT: To bring into the commonwealth or cause to be brought into
the commonwealth or to receive from without the commonwealth.
k. LICENSED PREMISES: The grounds and buildings whereon a license
possesses cannabis and conducts such business as licensed to do.
l. LICENSING AUTHORITIES: the authority or the local licensing authorities
or both, as the case may be.
m. LOCAL LICENSING AUTHORITIES: the licensing boards and commissions
established in any city or town under special statute or charter or, in
a city having no such board or commission the aldermen, or, in a town having
no such board or commission, the selectmen.
n. NON-GRATUITOUS: Not gratuitous; with consideration; commercial.
o.. PACKAGE: A container in which cannabis is sold to the purchaser
p.. PROCESS: To possess cannabis for the purpose of converting
same from intact plants to packaged form, and the act of so converting.
q. PROCESSING LICENSE: A license issued in accordance with Section
r. PURITY: Freedom from substances not indigenous to cannabis,
except for water.
s.. RETAIL: Of or pertaining to the transfer not at wholesale
of cannabis for consideration made in the ordinary course of trade or usual
prosecution of the seller’s business to the purchaser for consumption or
t.. SALE: Transfer for consideration.
u.. THC: Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol..
CANNABIS CONTROL AUTHORITY
Section 5. . There is hereby created an authority to be known
as the Cannabis Control Authority.
Section 6. The affairs of the authority shall be managed by a
board of seven directors, hereinafter referred to as the directors.
A full term thereon shall be seven years. Persons to serve respectively
for an initial seven-year term, an initial six-year term, and an initial
five-year term, and their replacements, shall be appointed by the governor,
with the approval of the council. Directors for an initial four-year
term and an initial one-year term shall be appointed and vacancies in said
directorships filled by the president of the senate. Directors for
an initial three-year term and an initial two-year term shall be appointed,
and vacancies in said directorships filled, by the speaker of the house.
Directors shall receive a salary of 20% of the salary of the governor, and
will serve on a part-time basis. The directors shall elect, from among
their number, a chairman, who shall preside over all official activities
of the board of directors. The chairman shall serve for three years
or until his term as director ends. A chairman may not serve in excess
of six consecutive years. No director shall serve more than fourteen
Section 7. The concurrence of not fewer than four members of the
board of directors shall be required for all official actions of the authority.
A copy of the minutes of each meeting of the board of directors, including
any rules and regulations adopted by the authority or any amendments thereof,
shall be forthwith transmitted, by and under the certification of the secretary
thereof, to the governor.
Section 8. . The authority shall have general supervision of the
conduct of the business of cultivating, possessing, distributing, sale at
retail and wholesale and importing cannabis, and also of the quality, purity
and grade thereof. The authority shall make such rules and regulations
as it deems necessary to enable it to carry out and enforce the provisions
of this act, and shall prescribe the forms of application for licenses under
this chapter and may require therein such information as it deems necessary.
Every license hereunder shall be governed and controlled by the rules and
regulations adopted by the authority. Subject to the provisions herein,
the authority may suspend or revoke any license for any violation of the
rules and regulations established hereunder or for aiding or abetting in
any violation of such rules and regulations, but before such suspension or
revocation, the authority shall give a hearing to the licensee, after due
notice to him of the charges against him and of the time and place of the
hearing. Such licensee may appear at the hearing with witnesses and
be represented by counsel. The authority and any representative thereof
duly authorized to conduct any hearing under this chapter shall have
power to administer oaths and take testimony under oath relative to
the matter of inquiry or investigation. At any hearing ordered by the
authority, the authority or its representative authorized to conduct such
hearing may subpoena witnesses and require the production of books, papers,
and documents pertinent to such inquiry. No witness under subpoena
authorized to be issued by any provision of this chapter shall be excused
from testifying or producing books or papers on the ground that such testimony
or the production of such books or other documentary evidence would tend
to incriminate him, but such evidence or the books or papers so produced
shall not be used in any criminal proceeding against him arising out of any
violation of any provision of this act. If any person shall disobey
such process or, having appeared in obedience thereto, shall refuse to answer
any pertinent question put to him by the authority or its authorized agent
or to produce any books and papers pursuant thereto, the authority or such
representative may apply to the superior court for the county wherein the
person, relative to whose business such hearing is ordered, resides or wherein
such business has been conducted, or to any justice of said court if the
same shall not be in session, setting forth such disobedience to process or
refusal to answer, and said court or justice shall cite such person to appear
before said court or justice to answer such questions or to produce such
books and papers, and, upon his refusal so to do, may commit him to jail
until he shall testify, but not for a longer period than sixty days.
Notwithstanding the serving of the term of such commitment by any person,
the authority may proceed in all respects with such inquiry and examination
as if the witness had not previously been called upon to testify. Officers
who serve subpoenas issued by the authority or under its authority and witnesses
attending a hearing conducted by it hereunder shall receive fees and compensation
at the same rates as officers and witnesses before the courts of the commonwealth,
to be paid on vouchers of the authority or to be paid without appropriation
out of the proceeds of the excise imposed by this chapter, on vouchers approved
by the authority. The rules and regulations adopted by the authority
shall be printed as part of the application blank for licenses and for renewal
thereof, and every applicant, as a condition of being licensed hereunder,
shall submit to such examinations as the authority may deem necessary to establish
his knowledge and understanding of The Cannabis Regulation and Taxation
Section 9. The authority shall impose and collect an excise upon
sales at retail of cannabis. The rate of said excise is hereby
established as follows:
Class C One hundred fifty dollar
Class B Two hundred dollars per
Class A Two hundred fifty dollars
Subject to approval by the general court, such excise shall be adjusted
by the authority from time to time as necessary to maximize the revenue
derived therefrom, and to minimize the incentive for the sale of cannabis
not in accordance with the provisions of this act...
Section 10. The authority shall, consistent with the objectives
set forth in the preamble to this act, issue the following licenses to
such applicants as may qualify under this act and the rules and regulations
of the authority: cultivation licenses, processing licenses, trade licenses,
retail licenses, import licenses, research licenses and farmer-processor-retailer
licenses. Provided, however, no such license shall be issued until
the applicant therefor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the authority
that he is twenty-one or more years of age, is familiar with all laws and
regulations relating to cannabis, and will exercise said license in premises
adequately secure and otherwise suitable.
a. The holder of a cultivation license may possess, propagate, grow
and cultivate cannabis and carry on such other horticultural activities
as are reasonably required for the commercial cultivation of cannabis.
He may sell cannabis only to the holder of a processing license, his agent
or employee, but to no other person. He shall file regular reports
as may be required by the authority, and shall be subject to all reasonable
times to inspection by the authority or its representatives. A cultivation
license shall be exercisable in one place only. The annual fee for a cultivation
license shall be $500.
b.. The holder of a processing license, his agents and employees,
may obtain cannabis only from the holder of a cultivation or import license.
He may possess, process, package, box and crate cannabis, and may transfer
cannabis only to the holder of a trade license, his agent or employees.
Processing, packaging, boxing and crating of cannabis shall be conducted
in only one place. Cannabis shall be packaged in quantities only
of not less than one, nor more than five ouncesone ounce, by dry weight,
in bulk only, and shall not be rolled into cigarette form. The processor
shall cause a label to be placed on each package bearing the following information:
(1) The name and place of business of the processor;
(2) The cannabis grade;
(3) The following statement: The Operation of a Motor Vehicle under
the influence of cannabis, alcohol or any other intoxicant is a crime punishable
of a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to two years, or both, and
may result in the loss of your license to drive.
c. The processor shall affix upon each cannabis package a tax
stamp or such other documentation as the authority may require, and shall
transfer neither title nor possession of same to any person without the
said stamps affixed. Said stamps shall be of such design and in such
denomination as the authority may prescribe, and shall be the means by
which the excise imposed by section 405 hereunder shall be paid to the
authority. The authority, in its discretion, may authorize the use
of a metering machine approved by it in lieu of stamps in order to press
or attach to each package of cannabis evidence of the payment of said excise.
Such machine shall be sealed by its authorized representative and shall
be used in accordance with such rules and regulations as the authority
may prescribe. The authority may for cause at any time suspend or
revoke the authority to use such a metering machine.
d. The authority shall redeem any unused or mutilated but identifiable
stamps or unused amounts for which a meter is set that any license processor
may present for redemption; provided, they were originally lawfully purchased
by the processor who presents them for redemption. Such redemption
shall be made at the face value thereof. The authority may prescribe
necessary rules and regulations for redemptions under this section.
If the authority is satisfied that a processor is entitled to a redemption
he shall issue to him stamps of equivalent value to cover the mutilated stamps
or he may order a refund equal to the actual amount paid for said unused
or mutilated stamps for the unused amounts for which the meter was set.
e. All processors shall file under the penalties of perjury with
the authority, on forms to be furnished by it, monthly reports on or before
the 20th day of each calendar month showing the number of stamps on hand
at the beginning of the month, the number purchased during the month, the
number on hand at the end of the month, the number affixed or otherwise
disposed of during the month, and such other information as the authority
shall require. All processors shall keep complete and accurate records
from which information can be obtained to complete and audit said report,
and such other records as the authority may prescribe, shall preserve such
records for three years and shall offer them for inspection at any time upon
oral or written demand of the authority or its duly authorized agents.
The stocks of unused stamps in any metering machines shall be open to inspection
by the authority or its duly authorized agents at all reasonable times.
f. The holder of a processing license, his agents and employees,
may possess, process, package, box and crate cannabis seeds and may transfer
such seeds as are capable of germination to the holder of a cultivation license
if said seed is capable of producing cannabis preparations having a THC
content of more than 1.5% by mass. The annual fee for a processing
license shall be $1,000.
g. All cannabis sold by processors shall be analyzed and graded
(1) If said cannabis contains more than 1% THC and less than 5%
THC, then said cannabis shall be labeled “C”.
(2) If the cannabis contains 5% or more than 5% and less than 10% THC,
then said cannabis shall be labeled “B”.
(3) If the cannabis contains 10% THC or more, then said cannabis shall
be labeled “A”.
h The aforesaid percentages shall be established by comparing
THC content to dry weight, without seeds.
i. The holder of a trade license, his agents and employees, may
obtain cannabis only from a duly licensed processor or importer, and may
possess cannabis only bearing valid documentation required to be affixed
to all packages under the provision of paragraph 2(b) above. He may
keep, store, warehouse, and transport same, and may sell cannabis only
to duly licensed retailer. The annual fee for a trade license shall be
j. . The holder of a retail license may sell cannabis only to
adult members of the public, not visibly intoxicated or otherwise in such
condition as may present a threat to public safety.
k. . All sales of cannabis to the public must take place within
the licensed premises of the retailer, which premises must be enclosed.
l. . A retail license shall be exercisable only at the location
specified in the license.
m. All cannabis sold by a licensed retailer must bear all appropriate
labels and documentation required by this act and prescribed by the authority.
n.. Cannabis shall not be sold or distributed to any person under
twenty-one years of age.
o. Possession of packaged cannabis for sale at retail not
bearing valid documentation as prescribed hereunder shall be a violation
of Chapter 94C, Section 34, of the General Laws. It shall be no defense
to a claim of violation of this paragraph that the retailer in good faith
believed documentation borne by cannabis in his possession to be valid.
The annual fee for a retail license shall be $2,000.
p. The holder of an import license may possess cannabis and shall
distribute same only to the holder of a processing license. All imported
cannabis is subject to the same requirements of this act relating to labeling
and grading as domestic cannabis.
q. The annual fee for an import license shall be $2,500.
r. The authority may issue research licenses for a bona fide conduct
of medical, social, behavioral or other research, upon such conditions and
terms as the authority may prescribe consistent with the objectives of
s. The holder of a farmer-processor-retailer license may cultivate,
process and retail cannabis subject to the same requirements of this act
relating to labeling, grading and taxation of a processor license, provided
all cannabis processed and sold is grown on the licensed premises.
t. The annual fee for a farmer-processor-retailer license shall
tu. Farmer-processor-retailer licenses may only be issued to an
applicant after approval by the local licensing authorities by such standards
as said local licensing authorities shall reasonably determine shall protect
the public health and safety..
Section 11. No license shall be issued to any person who during
the preceding ten years has been convicted of a felony except a felony
under Section 94C involving cannabis.
Section 12. Only a cultivation license, processing license or
import license shall authorize the offering for sale, selling, possessing
with intent to sell, or making of a non-gratuitous transfer or other non-gratuitous
disposition of cannabis within the commonwealth, unless said cannabis be
in individual packages bearing such stamps or documentation as required by
law and regulation. If any stamp or other documentation appearing on
any package of cannabis be stained or smudged or its characteristics be so
blurred, obscured or indistinct that it cannot be distinguished as genuine,
it shall be invalid. The offering for sale, selling, possessing with
intent to sell, or otherwise disposing of or making a non-gratuitous transfer
of cannabis within the commonwealth, without a valid license hereunder shall
be punnishablepunishable under Chapter 94C, Section 32 of the General Laws.
Section 13. Each license issued hereunder shall expire in two
years from the date of issue by the authority, unless sooner revoked by
the authority as provided hereunder, or unless the business with respect
to which such license was issued shall change ownership, or unless the holder
of the license shall remove his business from the premises covered by the
license, the authority not having given written approval for the transfer
of said license to another person in accordance with the provisions of
section 413, in any of which cases the license shall thereupon expire.
In the event that a licensee removes his business to another location within
his city or town, the license with respect to the former place of business
shall, without the payment of an additional fee, be reissued for the new
location for the balance of the unexpired term. The holder of each
license, on application to the authority, accompanied by the applicable
fee prescribed in section two, may, before the expiration date of the license
then held by him, renew his license for a further period of two years.
In case of suspension, revocation or cancellation of a license issued by
the authority, no abatement or refund of any part of the fee paid therefor
shall be made.
Section 14. Stamps and documentation hereunder may be issued by
the authority to processors on a credit basis, provided the processor shall
have furnished a surety company bond with a surety company authorized to
do business in the commonwealth as surety, in such amount as the authority
may fix. In lieu of a surety company bond a licensee may deposit with
the authority bonds or other negotiable obligations of the commonwealth
or of the United States of America of such aggregate face amount as the authority
may from time to time deem necessary adequately to secure payment of the
excise provided by this chapter; provided, that bonds need not be accepted
by the authority unless in registered form and of denominations satisfactory
to it. In case of a deposit of bonds or other negotiable obligations
with the authority hereunder, it shall, while in possession of such bonds,
remit to such licensee as aforesaid, or persons entitled thereto, the interest
accruing and payable thereon, and if such excises together with all interest
and other charges accrued thereon shall be paid in full and if the person
is no longer a licensee hereunder, it shall return such bonds or obligations
to the persons entitled thereto. If the excise together with all interest
and other charges accrued thereon provided by this chapter shall not be
paid in accordance with this chapter, the authority may sell all or any part
of such bonds or obligations to satisfy the amount due the authority as aforesaid
and shall return to the persons entitled thereto any excess left in its hands,
provided, however, the person is no longer a licensee hereunder.
Section 15. a.. Whoever falsely or fraudulently makes, forges,
alters or counterfeits, or causes or procures to be falsely or fraudulently
made, forged, altered or counterfeited, any excise stamps or other documentation
prepared or prescribed by the authority under this chapter, or whoever knowingly
and willfully utters, publishes, passes or tenders as true, any such false,
altered, forged or counterfeited stamp or makes a false affixation of or
uses any stamp provided for by this chapter which has already once been
used, for the purposes of evading the excise imposed by this chapter, shall
be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not
more than five years, or both.
b.. If any person secures, manufactures or causes to be secured
or manufactured, or has in his possession, any cannabis excise stamp or
die or device not prescribed or authorized by the authority, or any counterfeit
impression, such fact shall be prima facie evidence that such person has
counterfeited cannabis excise stamps. Whoever wilfully removes or alters
or knowingly permits to be removed or altered the cancellation or defacing
mark of any stamp provided for by this chapter with intent to use such stamp,
or knowingly or wilfully buys, prepares for use, uses, has in possession,
or suffers to be used, any metering machine without authority, or any washed,
restored or counterfeit stamps, or whoever intentionally removes or causes
to be removed, or knowingly permits to be removed any stamp or meter impression
affixed pursuant to this chapter, or whoever tampers with or causes to be
tampered with any metering machine authorized to be used under the provisions
thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment
for not more than five years, or both.
Section 16. Sale or distribution of cannabis by vending machine
or similar automation is prohibited.
Section 17. Any license issued under this chapter may, upon application
to the authority upon such forms and in accordance with such procedures
as the authority may prescribe, be transferred from one location to another
or the description of the licensed premises may be changed with the approval
of the authority. Any license under this chapter held by an individual,
partnership or corporation may be transferred to any individual, partnership
or corporation qualified to receive such a license in the first instance,
if, in the opinion of the authority, such transfer is in the public interest.
Section 18. The license of any licensee who, directly or through
any agent, employee or other person, changes in any manner cannabis in his
possession by adding a dilutant, attenuant, intoxicant, preservative or
any additive of any kind, the effect whereof is to reduce the purity of
cannabis to less than 100%, shall be suspended by the authority for a period
of not less than six months, and the licensee shall be subject to such additional
sanction as the authority may prescribe. Presence on the licensed
premises of cannabis less than 100% pure shall be prima facie evidence of
a violation of this section.
Section 19. Whoever places or causes to be placed
any additive in cannabis shall be liable to any person injured by reason
of ingestion thereof to the extent of three times actual damages, plus damages
for paid and suffering, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Section 20. Any person aggrieved by the conduct of any license
holder hereunder, his agents or employees, shall state his grievance in
writing to the local licensing commission of the city or the selectmen of
the town wherein the complained of conduct occurred. After investigation
and hearing said commission or selectmen shall, if the public interest so
requires, within seventy-five days from the date of the first regular meeting
following the receipt of said complaint, submit to the authority a certified
copy of the original complaint, together with a report of the commission’s
or the selectmen’s findings and recommendation, which recommendations shall
include, but not be limited to, one of the following:
a.. That no action be taken against the license whose conduct
is complained of.
b.. That the licensee’s license be suspended for a specified period
of time, not less than one week nor more than one year.
c. That the licensee’s license be revoked.
d. The authority shall, within thirty days of receipt of such findings
and recommendations, implement the said recommendations unless the licensee
complained of shall, during said thirty-day period: have requested a hearing
or the authority shall have deemed a hearing to be in the interest of fairness.
In either said event, the authority shall, within sixty days, hold a hearing
de novo, and thereupon accept, reject or reverse the recommendation of the
license commission. No revision shall exceed the limits set forth in
this section for recommendations of the license commission. All hearings
shall be conducted in accordance with the Massachusetts Administrative Procedure
Act, and the licensee shall have the right of appeal as prescribed therein.
The authority may suspend or revoke any license issued under this act for
failure of the licensee to comply with any provision hereof, or if the
licensee has ceased to act in the capacity for which other license was
issued, or for other good cause; and no person whose license has been suspended
or revoked shall sell cannabis or cause or permit cannabis to be sold during
the period fo such suspension or revocation.
Section 21. Except as specifically provided in this act, all costs
and expenses of the authority, including salaries and rent, shall be borne
by the authority from revenues collected.
Section 22. The number of retail licenses exercisable within any
city or town shall not exceed the total number of alcoholic beverage licenses
which may be issued in said city or town under the provisions of Chapter
138 of the General Laws, regardless of the number of alcoholic beverage licenses
actually issued. For purposes of this section, “alcoholic beverage
licenses” shall mean the aggregate number of licenses which authorizes the
sale of alcoholic beverages to consumers, whether package, tavern or victualler.
Section 23. Licensees hereunder shall not sell, borrow, loan or
exchange unstamped cannabis or stamps to, from or with other such licensees
unless authorized by the authority. Licensees other than processors
shall not accept deliveries of unstamped or improperly stamped packages
of cannabis except as authorized by the authority. Every licensed
retailer and trade licensee shall immediately examine all packages of cannabis
received by them and shall immediately return to their supplier any and
all packages of cannabis that are unstamped or improperly stamped.
Such supplier shall replace them with packages of cannabis upon which stamps
have been properly affixed.
Section 24. No holder of a license of any class shall have, directly
or indirectly, present or future, an interest in any other license of the
same class or of any other class.
Section 25. Every licensee shall keep such records in such detail
and affording such information as the authority may from time to time prescribe,
and shall file with the authority, whenever and as often as it may require,
duplicates of copies of such records; and the authority shall at all times,
through its designated officers and agents, have access to all books, records
and other documents of any licensee relating to the business which he is
licensed hereunder to conduct.
Section 26. Every licensee shall, on or before the twentieth day
of each calendar month, file with the authority, on a form prescribed by
it, a report under the penalties of perjury, stating the amount of cannabis
sold by such licensee in the commonwealth during the preceeding calendar
month and such report shall contain or be accompanied by such further information
as the authority shall require; provided, that if a licensee ceases to sell
cannabis within the commonwealth he shall forthwith file with the authority
such a report for th period ending with such cessation. Each import
licensee shall, upon importation of cannabis into the commonwealth, file
with the authority a report, stating the amount of cannabis imported and
such other information as the authority shall require.
Section 27. The surviving spouse or legal representative of a
deceased non-corporate licensee may continue to exercise the license for
thirty days following the death of the licensee, but thereafter only with
the written consent of the authority, which consent shall expire, if not
sooner revoked, fifteen months from the date of death. Consent shall
be withheld unless the said surviving spouse or legal representative meets
the qualifications prescribed by section 406 for the type of license sought
to be retained.
Section 28. No holder of a cannabis license hereunder shall have
any property right in any document or paper evidencing the granting of such
license issued by the authority, and said authority, upon the expiration,
suspension, revocation, cancellation, or forfeiture of such a license shall
be entitled upon demand to the immediate possession thereof. The superior
court shall have jurisdiction in equity, on petition of the licensing authorities,
to enforce this provision.
Section 29. Every license issued under the provisions of
this act or a duplicate copy thereof shall be prominently displayed on the
premises covered by the license.
Section 30. All records of the authority are public within the
meaning of the General Laws, Chapter 66.
Section 31. The authority shall annually, not later than
the fourth Wednesday of April, file a written report with the governor and
the respective clerks of the senate and house of representatives which shall
contain a comprehensive reporting, accounting, description and analysis of
Section 32. The state auditor shall conduct an annual post-audit
of all accounts and transactions of the authority, reasonable costs thereof
to be borne by the authority.
Section 33. The authority shall report immediately to the governor
and the general court any matters which require immediate changes in the
laws of the commonwealth in order to prevent abuses and evasions of this
act or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder or to rectify undesirable
conditions in connection with the administration of this act.
Section 34. The authority shall carry on a continuous study and
investigation of cannabis commerce in the commonwealth in order (1) to
ascertain any defects in this act or in the administration thereof or any
evasion of said law or said rules and regulations as may arise or be practiced,
and (2) to formulate recommendations for changes in said law and the rules
and regulations promulgated thereunder to prevent such abuses and evasions,
and (3) to guard against the use of said law and regulations issued thereunder
as a cover for the carrying on of criminal activities.
Section 35. The authority, its agents and employees, may, during
reasonable business hours and without notice thereof, conduct such inspections
of the licensed premises; including the books, records and accounts of the
licensee, as it shall deem appropriate for the enforcement of this act.
Section 36. The authority shall make a continuous study and investigation
of the operation and administration of similar laws in other states and
countries, of studies on the subject which from time to time may be published
or available, of any federal laws which may affect the administration of
this act, and of the reaction of citizens of the commonwealth to existing
and potential features of the act with a view to recommending and effecting
changes that will tend to better serve and implement the purpose of this act
as set forth in the preamble.
Section 37. All fees, taxes, excises and other monies collected
in accordance with this act shall be expended only for the following purposes,
and in the following order.
a. . To the Cannabis Control Authority for the reasonable cost of carrying
out its responsibilities under this Act;
b. . The balance of said fund shall be distributed to the general fund
of the commonwealth.
Section 38. a. No holder of a license of any class
shall, directly or indirectly, personally or through any agent or employee,
whether for consideration or gratuitously, cause to be published in a newspaper
or magazine distributed anywhere in the commonwealth or to be broadcast to
a radio or television receiver in the commonwealth, or to appeal in any display
signs or personal solicitation, or any manner of advertising, any advertisement
or notice to promote or encourage the consumption or use in any way of cannabis.
b. The preceding shall not apply to the following:
(1). Cannabis packages, crates, cartons, or boxes of Cannabis
packages, provided, however, that no such items shall be used for any display,
ornament, or fixture on the licensed premises.
(2). Logos contained in private correspondence or publications
not intended for public distribution.
(3). A single notice reading “Authorized Cannabis Outlet” , in a style
to be prescribed by the authority.
Section 39. The sale of cannabis in accordance with this action
shall not be subject to the provisions of:
a. Chapter 64H of the General Laws, relating to a sales tax on
sales of tangible personal property at retail; or
b. The provisions of Chapter 64I of the General Laws, relating
to a tax on the storage, use or other consumption of certain tangible property;
c. The provisions of Chapter 94 of the General Laws relating to the
inspection and sale of food, drugs, and various articles.
Section 40. The use of any device or game of chance to aid, promote
or induce sales or purchases of cannabis or any goods or services is prohibited.
The giving of cannabis in connection with any device or game of chance is
Section 41. Any contract, express or implied, made by any person,
firm or corporation in violation of any of the provisions herein is declared
to be an illegal and void contract and no recovery thereon shall be had.
Section 42. All excises paid in pursuance of this act shall conclusively
be presumed to be a direct tax on the retail consumer, pre-collected for
the purpose of convenience and facility only.
Section 43. If any provisions or provisions of this chapter is
or are declared unconstitutional or inoperative by a final judgment, order
or decree of the supreme court of the United States or of the supreme judicial
court of the commonwealth, the remaining parts of said chapter shall not
be affected thereby.
Section 44. Any of the masculine pronouns or nouns herein shall
be construed to include or refer to the feminine or neuter gender as well
as the masculine.
Section 45. The sum of $2,500,000.00 shall be appropriated
to fund the authority initially, which sum shall be repaid by the authority
to the treasurer of the commonwealth within five years from the day that
the first cannabis sale is made under the provisions of this act, together
with interest at the rate of 15% per annum from said day.