Marijuana shops in Massachusetts are still closed for the time being, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but when they do re-open, customers will eventually have the option to order their pot via delivery.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission said last week that it will soon up the application process for “prospective Delivery-only Marijuana Establishments and certain Microbusinesses seeking Delivery Endorsements.” Applications will be accepted starting May 28, with the commission saying that the licenses will be certified for a minimum of two years. 

Marijuana Delivery in Massachusetts

The commission voted last year to permit recreational marijuana businesses to apply for delivery licenses. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the state have long been able to conduct deliveries to customers. Many states and cities where pot is legal have opened the door for deliveries and curbside pickup as a way to safely serve customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

But unlike many of those states and cities, Massachusetts has not deemed those recreational marijuana shops as essential businesses, a designation that would allow them to remain open during the pandemic (Medical marijuana dispensaries have been deemed essential). A group of cannabis dispensaries in the state filed a lawsuit last month against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker challenging his order requiring them to close down during the outbreak, but a judge sided with Baker, ruling that the governor acted within his authority.

“It was reasonable for the governor to be concerned that the relatively few adult-use marijuana establishments in Massachusetts are more likely than liquor stores or [medical marijuana dispensaries] to attract high volumes of customers, including people traveling from other states,” Judge Kenneth W. Salinger wrote in his ruling. “The governor’s decision to treat medical marijuana facilities and liquor stores differently than adult-use marijuana establishments has a rational basis and therefore is constitutional.”

At a meeting last week however, Steve Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, insisted that the recreational businesses should be able to re-open.

“It is unfair that Massachusetts adult-use operators are the only ones that are shut down across the country and are not eligible for any kind of federal assistance,” he said. “I have no concerns whatsoever that we can operate this business safely. I think we’ve demonstrated that we can do so on the medical side of the business… [and] I think there’s absolutely no reason we can’t do exactly the same thing on the adult-use side.”

Introduce Yourself: Name, Company, Goals