MA scratches pilot program for cannabis consumption spaces before launch

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Massachusetts regulators scrapped a pilot program to establish cannabis cafes in 12 municipalities, likely ending the potential for consumption spaces to open in the state this year.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission instead (CCC) will focus its efforts on developing broader regulations regarding consumption areas and how to license such establishments, according to the State House News Service.

The decision comes about nine months after a state law was enacted that would have limited consumption areas to existing retail locations in a dozen cities and towns, according to the news outlet.

CCC Commissioner Nurys Camargo told State House News Service the decision to drop the pilot program encourages municipalities to decide whether they will opt in or not.

Cities and towns nationwide more often than not choose to opt out of commercial marijuana programs, which have created cannabis retail deserts from California to New York.

The Massachusetts developments are another setback for nationwide expansion of consumption lounges nationwide – widely seen as the cannabis industry’s next iteration.

Consumption lounges are scant beyond California and Colorado.

Industry watchers are keeping close tabs on the Las Vegas market, where license holders have indicated plans to open consumption locations this summer.