935 CMR 501.360 - Fines and Sanctions

The Commission or a Commission Delegee may issue an order to a Licensee or a Host Community to show cause as to why a fine or other financial penalty against a Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community should not be imposed for any acts or omissions determined to be in violation of the state Marijuana laws, including 950 CMR 501.000.

(1) Notice of Fines or Sanctions. The Commission or a Commission Delegee shall send written notice of the action taken against a Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community and the basis(es) for that action which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(a) The Commission's statutory and regulatory authority, including its jurisdiction over the subject matter and its authority to issue the order with regards to the License, registration or HCA;
(b) The factual basis(es) of the order;
(c) The alleged violation(s) of law;
(d) An assessment of an administrative fine of up to $50,000 per violation, or an order for corrective action fixing a reasonable time for correction of the violation or both; and
(e) Notice to the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community that they may request a hearing in accordance with 935 CMR 501.500.
(2) An administrative fine up to $50,000 may be assessed for each violation.
(a) The decision to impose any fine shall identify the factors considered by the Commission or a Commission Delegee in setting the amount.
(b) Each day during which a violation continues may constitute a separate violation, and each instance and provision of the state Marijuana laws, including M.G.L. c. 94I, and 935 CMR 501.000, that is violated may constitute a separate violation.
(3) The Commission or a Commission Delegee, in determining the amount of fine or financial penalty to impose may consider greater or lesser amount depending on aggravating or mitigating circumstances including, but not limited to:
(a) Aggravating Circumstances.
1. Duration and severity of violation;
2. Whether the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community has previously been subject to an administrative or enforcement action including, but not limited to, a notice of deficiency;
3. Whether the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community knew or had reason to know of the violation including, but not limited to, warning or issuance of a notice of deficiency; and
4. Whether the offense:
a. Constitutes grounds for denial of a renewal application or suspension or revocation of licensure;
b. Involved multiple Persons or Entities Having Direct or Indirect Control or agents of the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community;
c. Involved any compensating features associated with a valid waiver issued pursuant to 935 CMR 501.850;
d. Involved a person younger than 21 years old or a Registered Qualifying Patient or Caregiver;
e. Involved or affected multiple Qualifying Patients;
f. Involved or exposed the public to risk of diversion; or
g. Created a risk to the public health, safety or welfare.
(b) Mitigating Circumstances.
1. Whether the Commission learned of the violation or risk of violation from the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community prior to investigation;
2. The financial impact of corrective measures, if any, which provide safeguards exceeding the minimum requirements of 935 CMR 501.000. However, financial impact shall not include any cost associated with loss of economic opportunity due to noncompliance or costs of corrective action necessary to achieve compliance with minimum requirements of 935 CMR 501.000;
3. The Licensee's, Registrant's, or Host Community's good faith efforts to avoid a violation;
4. The Licensee's, Registrant's, or Host Community's degree of cooperation in the investigation; and
5. The Licensee's, Registrant's, or Host Community's willingness to accept responsibility.
6. The Licensee's or Registrant's compliance with the training requirements pursuant to 935 CMR 501.105(2)(b);
7. The Licensee's or Registrant's status as current or past leader pursuant to the Leadership Ratings Program under 935 CMR 501.040; and
8. Other particular mitigating circumstances presented by the Licensee, Registrant, or Host Community.
(4) The fine or financial penalty shall be due and payable within 30 calendar days of the date of one of the following:
(a) The date of the assessment; or
(b) If a hearing is requested pursuant to 935 CMR 501.500, the date of the final agency action.
(5) Failure to timely pay the fine or financial penalty may result in further action being taken by the Commission or a Commission Delegee including, but not limited to, suspension or revocation of a License or registration, or loss of a Host Community's good compliance standing with the Commission, as declared and identified pursuant to the procedures set forth in 935 CMR 501.180(3)(d).
(6) If remaining unpaid at the time of licensure renewal, the fine or financial penalty shall be added to the fee for renewal of the License. A License may not be renewed without the payment of the renewal fee and if applicable, an unpaid fine or financial penalty.
(7) All fines and financial penalties collected by or on behalf of the Commission, pursuant to 935 CMR 501.360, shall be made payable to the Commission and deposited into the Marijuana Regulation Fund.
(8) The failure to cooperate with provisions of 935 CMR 501.360, may result in administrative or disciplinary action against the Licensees, Registrants, or Host Communities.

Notes

935 CMR 501.360
Adopted by Mass Register Issue 1403, eff. 11/1/2019. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1406, eff. 11/1/2019. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1434, eff. 1/8/2021. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1441, eff. 1/8/2021. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1507, eff. 10/27/2023.

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