The Massachusetts State Senate just released a comprehensive report on the possibility of cannabis legalization and the recommendations for a smooth transition for the process. Although the report does not condone legalization, it does recognize the likelihood that voters could approve recreational cannabis on the November ballot through the proposed Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. The report makes an excellent comparison between the laws already in effect in Colorado and Washington alongside the Massachusetts ballot proposal.
Here are the major takeaways from the report:
1. Minimize the impact on youth
- Public health education campaigns should be launched as soon as possible
- Raise the minimum legal age for tobacco to 21 for a consistent legal age between alcohol, tobacco and cannabis
2. Maximum possession limit should be set at 1 ounce of dried cannabis flower
- All other appropriate possession limits for edibles, concentrates and other products will be established at a later date
3. Tight restrictions on advertising and marketing
- Prohibit packaging, marketing or promotions that appeal to youth
- Packaging should be child-resistant, plain and opaque with clearly labeled potency and a standard warning from the Department of Health
4. An established Cannabis Control Commission would be charged with licensing cultivators and drafting full regulations
- The market structure would set up on an alcohol-style commercial model
- There should be separate licenses for growers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and testing facilities
5. Home cultivation is unlikely to be permitted, at least initially
- If home growing is eventually permitted, it will require a registration system
MassLive has the full report uploaded on Scribd, available here.