MA tobacco wholesalers angling for MJ distribution monopoly

Cigarette wholesalers in Massachusetts are lobbying state lawmakers hard for a monopoly on recreational cannabis distribution, which would likely increase the cost of doing business for marijuana growers and retailers.

According to The Boston Globe, a tobacco trade group is leading the charge, trying to persuade policymakers that the best way to go on MJ distribution is to follow in the footsteps of the state’s alcohol industry, which mandates that producers use third-party shipping companies to get product to market. And, they’re arguing, companies that already ship cigarettes and collect taxes on them are in the best position to do that.

Cannabis advocates are pushing back, saying such a mandate would equate to unnecessary regulations that would only add costs for businesses and consumers.

“The last thing this state needs is another three-tiered commerce system that gouges consumers and enriches middlemen,” Jim Borghesani, who helped run the 2016 rec campaign, told the Globe.

Paul Caron, the executive director of the tobacco trade group, has also tried to get a seat on the commission that will develop regulations for the state’s upcoming rec industry. And he’s been trying to do so since two days after the 2016 election, the Globe reported.

Massachusetts liquor store owners, meanwhile, also have been eyeing the new adult-use market.

The state’s rec industry is expected to launch in 2018.

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2 comments on “MA tobacco wholesalers angling for MJ distribution monopoly
  1. Rebecca J Barrymore on

    MJ must remain as a separate business model as it encompasses both medical and recreational uses, neither of which should be equated with liquor or cigarette sales and distribution. Allowing current distributor’s of liguor or cigarettes does not model what Cannabis, as a medical healer represents to our healthcare industry or our uses as a society. Cannabis industries need to set standards and policies that embraces the uses and place controls and establish sales, labeling and distribution thru a network within its’ own industry to assure quality and compliance.
    Allowing liquor or cigarette distributor’s or producer’s to have any control over MJ distribution will only lead to corruption and manipulation of a product they have no ethical involvement, but only monetary interest which would not serve the MJ Industry in its’ mission to establish Cannabis as a real medicine and to re-establish its’ reputation in the eyes of law enforcement and put an end to our government’s demonization of Cannabis as a harmful drug. Instead, we need society and the laws to reflect that Cannabis is the answer to much of our overall healthcare treatment and to encourage the study of its’ many uses and the answers it provides to our health with science and research, not controls but other agencies or placing MJ in the hands of opportunists.


    They do realize the commingling of funds from pot with alcohol and or tobacco will shut down their bank accounts.
    In Washington State, banks have closed the accounts of customers who receive a paycheck from pot businesses.

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