Medical Use of Marijuana Program News & Updates

Find out recent news of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program within the Department of Public Health.

Administration of Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program to Transfer to Cannabis Control Commission

On December 23, 2018, administration and oversight of the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program will transfer from the Department of Public Health (DPH) to the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), a change that is mandated by Massachusetts law, Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, AN ACT TO ENSURE SAFE ACCESS TO MARIJUANA. The law requires that the transfer take place by December 31, 2018.

During the transition, patients who are currently registered with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program should not experience any substantial change in their service. The only major change expected is the move of administration of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program to a different state agency that also oversees adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts.

“We have worked very hard to put in place an effective, high-quality, and streamlined medical marijuana program that is focused on patient safety and access,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We want to assure medical marijuana patients in the Commonwealth that we have worked closely with the CCC and our constituents over the past several months to support a smooth transition of the Program and to ensure that patient access is not impacted by this change.”

DPH has overseen the Medical Use of Marijuana Program since its launch in 2014. Currently, there are 47 Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMDs) approved for sales across Massachusetts, serving more than 57,000 patients and more than 7,000 personal caregivers. The 22 staff employed by DPH as part of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program will become employees of the Cannabis Control Commission.

“The upcoming transfer of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program would not have been possible without considerable collaboration between DPH and the CCC,” said CCC Chairman Steven J. Hoffman.  “We appreciate the guidance that Commissioner Bharel and her team have provided for many months, and look forward to welcoming Program staff to the CCC who will help us maintain consistent, top-notch care that all Massachusetts patients deserve.”

The program’s website has been updated with information to answer questions that patients may have about the transfer.

For more details, contact the Medical Marijuana Program Support Center at (617) 660-5370 or by email at MedicalMarijuana@state.ma.us. For inquiries related to adult-use cannabis, call (617) 701-8400.

Additional Resources for Administration of Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program to Transfer to Cannabis Control Commission

7/12/2018 – Update on the transfer of medical marijuana inventory

On July 12, 2018, the Department issued the Policy Regarding Transfer of Medical Marijuana Inventory for Adult Useprovides RMDs that are seeking licensure for the retail sale of adult use marijuana with information about the process to request approval from the Department to transfer a portion of existing medical marijuana product inventory for sale in the adult use market.

To see all Medical Use of Marijuana Program guidance documents issued by the Department, please see the Laws, Regulations, and Reports page.

12/19/2017 – Update for the Registration of Independent Testing Laboratories

On December 19, 2017, the Department issued the Policy on Laboratory Registration, which provides guidance regarding the timeline for laboratories to apply for a Certificate of Registration to operate as an Independent Testing Laboratory (ITL) with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

For more information about Independent Testing Laboratory Registration with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program, please visit the Apply for an Independent Testing Laboratory Certificate of Registration page.

12/01/2017 – New Guidance for RMDs and Testing Laboratories

On December 1, 2017, the Department issued the Policy on Contamination Notification Requirement for Independent Testing Laboratories and Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMD) and the Policy on Acquisition of Cuttings or Genetic Plant Material for RMDs.

The Policy on Contamination Notification Requirement (PDF) | (DOCX) outlines the requirements for both testing laboratories and Registered Marijuana Dispensaries to notify the Department of laboratory results indicating the contaminant levels in a tested product exceed the acceptable limits outlined in the Protocol for Sampling and Analysis of Finished Medical Marijuana Products and Marijuana-Infused Products and cannot be remediated.

The Policy on Acquisition of Cuttings or Genetic Plant Material (PDF) | (DOCX) outlines the guidelines for organizations that have received at least a Provisional Certificate of Registration (PCR) to obtain cuttings or genetic plant materials.

12/01/2017 – Revised Medical Use of Marijuana Regulations

The revised Medical Use of Marijuana regulations, Implementation of an Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana, were approved by the Public Health Council on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. The regulations went in to effect on Friday, December 1, 2017.

To access the revised regulations, please visit the Medical Use of Marijuana laws, regulations, and reports page.

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