Cannabis Control Commission hears from stakeholders on marijuana regulations


BOSTON (WWLP)-The Cannabis Control Commission is hearing from stakeholders as well as the public about regulations before creating guidelines and protocol for issuing licenses.

The Cannabis Control Commission held the first of eight “listening sessions”at the State House Monday to hear from organizations they invited with a known interest in development of pot regulations including law enforcement, marijuana reform activists and nurses.

James Zarvis, founder of the Easthampton Cannabis Ascension Network, said many residents expressed concerns over potential harm to children and asked the commission to address the zoning process.

“Having specific definitions to turn to for that and many other terms relating to cannabis is important to the zoning process and certainly an area in which the CCC could help provide support for us,” Zarvis said.

Stakeholders expressed concerns about potential issues and regulations, including edibles safety, licensing fees and smoking restrictions.

One entrepreneur spoke at the hearing who hopes to open a cannabis coffee house in Easthampton.

“The recreational cannabis market brings new opportunities for economic stimulus and for job creation,” Karima Rizk, owner of Cafe Vert, said.

She expressed concerns about regulations for where people can consume marijuana, including smoking in and around buildings or consuming edibles in certain locations.

The Commission has until mid-March to set guidelines, regulations and protocol for issuing licenses for Massachusetts’ marijuana industry.

Western Massachusetts residents can have their voices heard at a public listening session Wednesday at Holyoke Community College.

The Commission is also holding several other public hearings in the coming weeks:

October 4, 2017                      Holyoke Community College

10:00 a.m.                               Kittredge Center, Rm 301/303

303 Homestead Avenue

Holyoke, MA 01040

October 5, 2017                      Barnstable Town Hall

10:30 a.m.                               367 Main Street

Hyannis, MA 02601

October 6, 2017                      Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

8:30 a.m.                                 2300 Washington Street

School Committee Chamber, 2nd floor

Roxbury, MA 02119

October 10, 2017                    West Tisbury Public Library

10.30 a.m.                               1042 State Road

Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

October 11, 2017                    Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room

10:00 a.m.                               3 Salem Square

Worcester, MA 01608

October 12, 2017                    One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor

9:00 a.m.                                 Boston, MA 02108

October 13, 2017                    Berkshire Community College

1:00 p.m.                                 K111 Lecture Hall

1350 West Street

Pittsfield, MA 01201

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