Mass. medical marijuana telehealth, curbside policies extended to Dec. 31

The regulatory body Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission extended until the end of the year a trio of COVID-induced orders designed for easier access to medical marijuana.

The orders allow telehealth consultations for first-time medical patients, curbside pickup for medical marijuana treatment centers, and virtual community outreach meetings. 

“By extending these orders on Thursday, Commissioners sent a clear message to Certifying Healthcare Providers, patients, licensees and applicants, and the public that we take their safety seriously,” Executive Director Shawn Collins said in a press release on Monday. “Staff will continue to monitor the effectiveness of these policies and prioritize protections of all constituents while COVID-19 continues to threaten public health in our state.” 

The orders were first put into place near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been extended a few times. The orders were extended at the CCC’s Dec. 28 meeting until Feb. 9 public meeting. At that meeting, the orders were again extended until the end of the calendar year.

According to CCC, 13 out of the 100 medical treatment centers offer curbside service to patients, and 80% of certifying healthcare provider visits with first-time patients interested in medical use marijuana were done via telehealth – 87% of visits in December of last year were done via telehealth.

Curbside pickup can be canceled at any time via a vote from CCC. The commission is reviewing processes and policies, though, and, according to the release on Monday, examining if telehealth meetings and curbside pickup should become permanent policies. 

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