Wholesale marijuana shortages on Martha’s Vineyard spark lawsuit

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Cannabis stores on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts regulators to allow wholesale marijuana delivery to the islands for resale to consumers.

According to the lawsuit filed against the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) in Suffolk County Superior Court, Geoff Rose, owner of Island Time, and Nantucket-based Green Lady Dispensary are seeking an allowance for interisland cannabis transportation via boat, The Martha’s Vineyard Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the lawsuit was prompted by wholesale marijuana shortages as Martha’s Vineyard’s only grower, Fine Fettle in West Tisbury, plans to close later this year.

Fine Fettle already has stopped growing plants on Martha’s Vineyard, the newspaper reported.

Cannabis transport needed

Transporting marijuana across federal waterways – defined as water more than 3 nautical miles from land – is prohibited and punishable under federal law.

Marijuana discovered in federal waterways can be confiscated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Interisland cannabis commerce, though rare, has been approved in several states, including Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state.

About a year ago, Hawaii lawmakers approved legislation allowing state-licensed companies to sell wholesale marijuana to cannabis businesses, including those located on other islands.

Businesses in peril

Meanwhile, Island Time in Martha’s Vineyard is facing an uncertain future.

The marijuana store has closed twice since March, citing inventory shortages, and the store remains temporary closed, according to its website.

“We will reopen when products can be sourced from the mainland,” Rose wrote to Island Time customers on a landing page to shop for products.

The CCC voted earlier this month to meet with Vineyard officials in June about supply-chain constraints, The Martha’s Vineyard Times reported.