Hearing on Marijuana Regulations Attracts Scant Crowd
A final public hearing by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission on the Vineyard last week saw sparse attendance and little feedback on upcoming rules to govern the cultivation, manufacture and retail sale of recreational marijuana.
The hearing at the West Tisbury Library on Friday was scheduled for three hours but lasted only about 25 minutes.
Recreational marijuana sales will begin July 1 of this year.
The state is considering draft regulations that would create eight different categories of licensing, including for marijuana cultivators, retailers, delivery-only retailers, and social consumption establishments.
The draft rules also outline requirements for labeling, packaging, advertising and serving sizes, enforcement, security, and municipal protections.
At the hearing on the Vineyard last week, Vineyard legislative liaison Kaylea Moore read a statement on behalf of state Rep. Dylan Fernandes. Among other things, she spoke about concerns that transporting marijuana to the Island by boat or by plane would violate federal law and be subject to arrest.
“Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are unlike many of the cities and towns across the commonwealth and require special accommodations,” Ms. Moore said. “Cookie cutter state policy often does not fit the needs of Dukes and Nantucket counties.” She said she and state Sen. Julian Cyr had successfully filed an amendment that mandates that the commission promulgate regulations to accommodate the two Islands.
The draft rules have been criticized by Gov. Charlie Baker in recent weeks for being overly complicated.
But at the hearing, Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel said he does not think the regulations go far enough in some areas.
“My main thing is about edibles and packaging,” Mr. Israel said. “I think more needs to be done. Those are my biggest concerns. I have looked at other states where edibles have been a problem with children and pets.”
The commission expects