By Colin A. Young
State House News Service
BOSTON -- The Cannabis Control Commission plans to take its draft regulations for the legal marijuana industry on the road in February, seeking input from residents from the Berkshires to Martha's Vineyard.
The CCC late last week scheduled 10 public hearings around the state to give residents a chance to weigh in on the 107 pages of regulations the CCC has proposed to put in place to govern the newly legal marijuana industry. In light of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session's decision to rescind a previous administration policy instructing federal prosecutors not to interfere with legal and regulated marijuana markets established by individual states, state regulators said uncertainty in the industry does not override their responsibility to implement the 2016 ballot law legalizing pot.
The series will begin Monday, Feb. 5 with a hearing at 8:30 a.m. at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield followed by a hearing at Holyoke Community College's Leslie Philips Theater at 2 p.m. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, commissioners will hold overlapping hearings, including a 9 a.m. hearing at Barnstable Town Hall and a 10 a.m. hearing at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments offices in Greenfield. The CCC will also hold a hearing at 2 p.m. that day at UMass School of Law in Dartmouth.
The schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 7 begins with a 9 a.m. hearing at the Worcester Public Library and will wrap up with a 2 p.m. hearing at North Shore Community College in Danvers. The CCC will hold a hearing at the state's main office building, One Ashburton Place in Boston, on Thursday, Feb.
The public hearing circuit will conclude with another hearing in Boston, this time on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury's Dudley Square.
The CCC has also set snow dates during the week of Feb. 12 for some of the hearings.
The commission asks that anyone who wants to testify also submit a written copy of their testimony. Massachusetts residents are invited to submit comments via email to CannabisCommission@State.MA.US with "Draft Regulations" in the subject line. Testimony will also be accepted by mail to Cannabis Control Commission, 101 Federal Street, 13th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. All testimony must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Feb. 15.
The CCC in late December approved and filed its proposed rules for regulating the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, transportation, storage, sale and social use of marijuana, as well as the process businesses must follow to become licensed to legally deal in marijuana.