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.