State regulators came to western Massachusetts Monday to seek input on what the recreational marijuana industry will look like.
The Cannabis Control Commission held an open forum at Holyoke Community College today on draft rules proposed in December.
A lot of ground was covered in today's testimony from western Massachusetts residents, from cannabis cafes to craft cooperatives.
The chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission got quite a bit of input on things like social consumption and home delivery.
In Holyoke Community College's theater, Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steve Hoffman listened as western Massachusetts residents weighed in on the rules for legal pot in the Bay State.
Some were lawyers, others business owners like Karima Rizk, who would like to open a cannabis cafe in Easthampton.
Today's testimony will help the state's Cannabis Control Commission draft the framework for retail marijuana shops.
The commission will start accepting retail applications in April and plans to issue recreational licenses by June 1.
It's a timeline that one cultivating business owner told Western Mass News just doesn't fit.
"You can't make this stuff grow any faster then it's going to grow it takes 3 months from seed to bud," said David Caputo with Positronic Farms.
Caputo has leased an old paper mill in Holyoke for a cultivation business. He testified today that in his opinion, permits for those who grow the plants should be accepted earlier.
"Unless they do, they are going to have nothing to sell in the stores until much later than when they are supposed to open," Caputo explained.
A woman representing a Springfield health clinic didn't want to be interviewed, but expressed concerns over keeping those under 21 away from marijuana, particularly when it comes to home deliveries.
Under the draft rules, drivers would have to identify that a buyer is over 21.
This, as Elena Small expressed concerns over smoking in indoor places.
The final rules are expected to be filed with the Secretary of State by March 9.
Today's meeting is one of several scheduled by the commission across the state, another one this week will be taking place in Greenfield. That meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments at 12 Olive Street, Greenfield.
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