Massachusetts cannabis regulator: Social consumption venues ‘years’ away

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A member of Massachusetts’ marijuana regulatory agency predicted that social consumption businesses are “years” away from happening in the Bay State, even though a voter-approved ballot initiative legalizing recreational MJ in 2016 gave regulators the authority to license such venues.

A provision in state law effectively kills any chance that social consumption businesses will be approved anytime soon, reported. The news comes as the state’s first recreational sales are expected to occur in coming weeks.

“I would say it’s a matter of years,” Shaleen Title, one of five commissioners on the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), said during a meeting Tuesday, according to

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Under state law, social consumption venues are banned at the local level unless a municipality opts in by holding a referendum.
  • To hold such a referendum, supporters much launch a petition drive. However, Massachusetts doesn’t have a state law that governs such petitions, and so cities and towns have no legal way to hold a referendum, according to The Boston Globe.
  • To address the issue, Title urged the CCC to establish a working group composed of local government officials who support social consumption businesses, reported.