Massachusetts Cannabis Retailers Can Now Sell Hemp Products: What Retailers Need To Know

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The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission recently voted to issue Guidance for the Retail Sale of Hemp to clarify requirements and restrictions on the retail sale of certain types of hemp products by licensed adult-use marijuana retailers to eligible consumers.

If you’re a Massachusetts cannabis retailer who is interested in selling hemp products at your store, you are probably wondering how to comply with this new guidance. This article should answer some of those burning questions.

1. What does the new guidance allow me to do?

The guidance permits marijuana retailers licensed by the commission to purchase “Consumer-Ready Hemp Products” from hemp processors licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and offer these products for sale to consumers 21 years of age and older at the retailer’s licensed facility.

2. What consumer-ready hemp products can I sell?

Marijuana retailers can only sell the following consumer-ready hemp products:

  • Hemp seed
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Hulled hemp seed
  • Hemp seed powder
  • Hemp protein
  • Clothing made out of hemp-derived materials
  • Building material derived from hemp
  • Items made from hemp fiber
  • Non-food cannabidiol (CBD) products for human consumption that do not make any medicinal/therapeutic claims on the label and are not marketed as a dietary supplement, unless the product has already been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

3. What hemp products can’t I sell?

Marijuana retailers are prohibited from selling the following hemp products:

  • Any food product containing CBD
  • Any non-food product containing CBD derived from hemp that makes therapeutic and/or medicinal claims on the label, unless it has already been approved by the FDA
  • Any product containing CBD that is being marketed as a dietary supplement, unless already approved by the FDA
  • Animal feed that contains any hemp-derived products, including CBD
  • Unprocessed or raw plant hemp, including flower that is meant for end-use by a consumer

4. Are there any special requirements for selling consumer-ready hemp products?

Consumer-ready hemp products offered for sale at retailer facilities must be displayed in a dedicated section of the store.

In addition, each consumer-ready hemp product sold must be accompanied by an insert at the point of sale that includes the following warning language:

“This product was produced, packaged, and labeled by a Massachusetts hemp processor licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR). It is not regulated by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and the product may not be consistent with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 94G or 935 CMR 500.000. Consumers that have questions or concerns about this product are encouraged to contact the manufacturer, MDAR, or the appropriate state or federal agencies.”

A record of sale should be maintained for each sale, but marijuana retailers are not required to track the sale of consumer-ready hemp products through the Commission’s seed-to-sale system of record.

5. Am I required to purchase all wholesale consumer-ready hemp products only from licensed hemp processors in Massachusetts?

Yes. Marijuana retailers seeking to sell consumer-ready hemp products in their stores are prohibited from obtaining such products for any businesses that are not located in Massachusetts and are not licensed as hemp processors by MDAR.

Here is a list of licensed hemp processors in Massachusetts.

6. I operate a medical marijuana treatment center. Can I sell consumer-ready hemp products too?

No. The guidance does not impact medical marijuana treatment center operations. Only marijuana retailers licensed by the Commission are allowed to buy wholesale consumer-ready hemp products and offer them for sale to consumers in retail stores.

7. Does this guidance mean that the cannabis control commission now regulates hemp products?

No. MDAR will continue to have exclusive jurisdiction over the licensing and operations of hemp processors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Other state and federal agencies will also have jurisdiction and regulatory authority over hemp products, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the FDA.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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