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Cannabis cafes could soon be coming to Massachusetts

Cannabis cafes could soon be coming to Massachusetts
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 3:38 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has voted to approve a pilot program for cannabis cafes and Springfield is one of the communities that has the opportunity to participate if the bill passes

Cannabis consumption areas, or cafes, can be found in states like California, Oregon, and Colorado. Pretty soon, Massachusetts could be added to that list. On Wednesday, the Mass. House of Representatives passed a cannabis equity bill. It passed in the Mass. Senate a few weeks ago. As part of the bill, State Senator Adam Gomez said a pilot program can be implemented in Massachusetts.

“It’s illegal still for you to use marijuana in public spaces, so these social consumption sites need to be created to make sure that in different areas, across the street, where we have tourism and, you know, that people come here and maybe want to indulge in some of our dispensers because obviously, it’s still not federally legal to acquire marijuana in some states,” Gomez explained.

A few communities across the state, including Springfield, have the opportunity to participate in the program. Despite the potential economic benefits, Gomez believes changes still need to be made to the legality of marijuana.

“I think that we’re gonna open up industry for communities to be able to make money off of cannabis, then we have to, we have to end the prohibition entirely, specifically even on low-level drug offenses, specifically having to do with marijuana,” Gomez said.

Gomez said the bill is now on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk, awaiting his signature to become law. It will then be on local governments and businesses to shape the social consumption industry.

However, what do local dispensaries think of this growth? Insa officials said they are all for it.

“Overall, I think it’s a great thing for the cannabis industry and a great thing for Massachusetts,” said Peter Gallagher with Insa.

Western Mass News also reached out to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s office for a statement. He said:

“My administration has already established a very successful, fair and transparent marijuana licensing selection process and when the time comes we will do a careful, caution and thorough review, as always, to see what is in the best interest for our citizens when it comes to public health, safety and economic opportunities.”