CCC holding public hearings on social consumption sites

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state’s marijuana regulators want to know what you think about proposed cannabis cafes.

The Cannabis Control Commission is holding a series of public meetings to talk to Massachusetts residents about whether cannabis cafes are a good idea.

The CCC has heard from police officers, cannabis cultivators, and medical marijuana patients who all expressed different views on the newly drafted regulations regarding social consumption sites.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned right now for me is a lot of people kind of view it and take in the perspective of social consumption as a bunch of stoners looking for a place to go, and that’s so far from the truth,” said Jana Martin of Whitman.

Supporters of social consumption sites say it would benefit people who live in public housing, or in an area where smoking is not permitted.

The cannabis cafes would be a place where people can buy and consume marijuana but opponents worry that public safety issues could arise when people leave those facilities.

Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael argued, “It’s not the issue of legalization or not, it’s the issue of public safety and keeping the roads safe.”

Right now there isn’t a roadside device that detects THC levels, but nearly every police force in the Commonwealth has a drug recognition officer who is trained specifically to detect impaired driving.

Twelve Massachusetts communities including North Adams, Amherst, and Springfield, are currently participating in a social consumption pilot program to see if and how the plan would work.

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