BOSTON — Massachusetts Second Worcester District Senator Michael Moore of Millbury appeared before the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) today, voicing concerns over proposed regulations that could potentially permit convicted sex offenders to secure jobs in the cannabis industry.
The new rules come from a 2022 law “An Act Relative to Equity in the Cannabis Industry.” The law aims to give more people a chance to work in the marijuana industry, no matter their past.
The draft regulations for the cannabis industry aims to advance diversity and equity in the sector. Under this act, prior criminal convictions are largely sidelined in hiring decisions for the cannabis industry. The notable exception pertains to convictions related to distributing controlled substances to minors.
While acknowledging the positive objectives behind the regulations, Moore stressed the dangers of allowing individuals with sexual offenses on their record access to sensitive customer information. “Cannabis customers have the right to make their purchase without fear of handing over their personal information and home address to someone with a record of sex crimes,” Senator Moore remarked.
The senator further emphasized the importance of public safety and pointed out that other industries, including delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Instacart, hold strict background check standards for roles that handle sensitive data.
The legislation includes the creation of a Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund. This initiative seeks to support entrepreneurs from areas that were unduly impacted by marijuana prohibition. The measures also seek to simplify application processes, expedite the expungement of past cannabis-related convictions, and the potential permitting of social consumption sites are also part of the broader legislative package.