Second Marijuana Summit coming to Boston before new regulations
The second Massachusetts Marijuana Summit will be held in Boston this Friday. PHOTO BY BETSEY GOLDWASSER/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
On Friday, the second Massachusetts Marijuana Summit will bring together panels of legal, political and business experts to discuss the ins and outs of the cannabis industry as recreational marijuana legalization nears.
The panels at the summit will update industry stakeholders and the general public about current regulations, potential federal threats to the industry and financial obstacles for cannabis business owners.
Jim Borghesani, the Massachusetts spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, said this summit is coming at the precipice of an important deadline to the recreational marijuana industry. The Cannabis Control Commission, a government agency that oversees marijuana rollout in the state, has until March 15 to finalize regulations for the sale of recreational cannabis.
“These regulations, such as establishing qualifications for licenses to produce and sell, are setting up the framework for the marijuana industry,” Borghesani said.
Borghesani, who will be the moderator of a forum on implementation and obstacles, said the summit will address updates about regulations in their current form and what stakeholders can expect after July 1, the target date for marijuana sales to begin.
James Smith, a partner at Smith, Costello, and Crawford and one of the panelists for the forum, said all dispensaries currently in Massachusetts are for medical use. Opening dispensaries for recreational use requires communities to set up proper zoning laws across the state, he said.
“My biggest concern is getting these dispensaries open,” Smith said in an interview. “There are 351 zoning authorities, and most of them have done absolutely nothing.”
However, Smith said only a few local areas have actually set up the proper zoning regulations for these types of dispensaries.
“There are just no initiatives or incentives in the