Daniel Delaney, a lobbyist for medical marijuana companies that hold licenses in Massachusetts and other states — including the only license in Boston — has filed to create a campaign opposing the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), which would legalize marijuana for adult use, reports Boston.com.
According to the article, Delaney is opposed to CRMLA because it isn’t protectionist enough. The initiative (full text here) includes a short window where medical marijuana dispensaries would get first dibs at opening retail locations for adult use, but Delaney complains that this window isn’t long enough.
He’s also opposed to allowing people grow their own marijuana, claiming that it would make it easier for children to access. This makes little sense, as children aren’t capable of processing a marijuana plant into useable form — the only legitimate concern about children accidentally consuming marijuana comes from edible products that are left out by irresponsible adults, not from people growing plants in their homes. The underlying logic here seems to be that if people are allowed to grow their own marijuana, they’ll buy less from the dispensaries he represents.
The article also mentions that Patriot Care, Delaney’s client with the license in Boston, has promised not to switch over to recreational sales when they become legal. Together with his statements against a free market and allowing home cultivation, it can be assumed that this is not about the merits of CRMLA for the people of Massachusetts, but more about ensuring that his clients can keep their monopoly in Boston and lessen competition in other parts of the state.
It’s also worth noting that some of the state’s most ardently pro-marijuana activists, notably Steve Epstein of the failed Bay State Repeal, have attacked CRMLA for being too restrictive (they prefer a more libertarian system, regulating marijuana like tomatoes instead of alcohol). With Delaney attacking for it not being restrictive enough, maybe that will actually help voters realize CRMLA is a middle ground that will regulate marijuana enough to ensure public safety, but keep those regulations reasonable enough to avoid the kind of cronyist protections that Delaney seems to be looking for.