High times at Hynes: convention showcases cannabis industry
By Marisa Goolgasian, news correspondent
A crowd of more than 6,000 gathered at Hynes Convention Center this weekend for the fourth annual New England Cannabis Convention.
The conference was held by the New England Cannabis Network, or NECANN, an organization created in 2014 to address the lack of established resources for New England’s fast-growing cannabis industry.
Advocates, patients, consumers and entrepreneurs alike assembled to learn about Massachusetts’s growing medical and recreational marijuana industry. More than 100 speakers and 150 exhibits participated, making the convention the largest gathering of cannabis and hemp industry professionals in the Northeast to date, according to the event’s website.
One featured speaker was Will Luzier, the Marijuana Policy Project’s political director for the Massachusetts division. Luzier previously served as executive director of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Substance Abuse.
Luzier focused on updating attendees about how Massachusetts cannabis policy is changing, a timely topic as the final state regulations were set to be filed by March 15.
“I predict during the first two or three years following the openings of the first adult-use dispensaries in July of 2018, more and more marijuana will become available,” Luzier said. “The price will come down and the use of cannabis will become normalized the same way the use of alcohol has become normalized.”
As of now, there is no sign that Congress is discussing a revision of federal cannabis legislation. However, Luzier said change is on the horizon.
“I truly think that it will happen in the not-so-distant future, just not during this administration. Most likely five or six years from now, assuming we have a new president in 2021,” he said. “Several Democrats have indicated they are interested in cannabis law reform and many of them are potential presidential candidates. So it will take time. It’s hard to