The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has finalized their regulations for legal marijuana and they have tilted the odds in favor of convicted drug criminals.

The biggest threat to the marijuana industry in Massachusetts is the federal government. The entire recreational marijuana business is in violation of federal law and it will only exist if the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts decides to ignore it. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling can only ignore the marijuana and focus on other priorities if the industry is well regulated and in the hands of responsible individuals.

The CCC has decided that their personal ideology on "social justice" and the "victims" of the war on drugs is more important than establishing a well-regulated distribution system for an intoxicating recreational substance. They have decided to continue to offer "priority" to the license applications from convicted drug dealers.

The priority isn't only for people who have been convicted of marijuana-related offenses, but for anyone with a "drug-related" criminal record. So the person who has been convicted of selling heroin is ahead of the person with a doctoral degree in the licensing process for marijuana in Massachusetts.

When the licenses are granted by the CCC and the media reports the criminal records of the drug dealers who have been granted a lucrative franchise to sell marijuana in violation of federal law there is going to be a reaction. The public is going to react negatively and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going to say "I told you so" about the pot industry in Massachusetts.

How can U.S. Attorney Lelling justify ignoring the massive distribution of marijuana by convicted drug dealers in violation of federal law? He won't be able to ignore it and it will be the audacity of the CCC that forces his hand.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. Email:

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