AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Legal pot shops are moving closer to reality in Massachusetts.

UMass Amherst hosted a symposium to look at the relationship between the new medical marijuana laws and public health.

Starting on April 2, certain businesses can begin applying for licenses to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults over the age of 21 for recreational use.

One concern is the impacts on drugged driving as well as emergency room visits and calls to poison control.

“We voted for it as a state,” Cheryl Sbarra, Director of the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards told 22News. “So we need to figure out the best way to operationalize and to address the public health issues that we’re concerned about.”

Even though recreational pot has been legal to possess since the start of the year, it will be several more months until you can legally buy it in Massachusetts.

Applications are for commercial pot sales will be accepted this month.

Retail shops and suppliers are still on schedule for a July 1 start date.

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