Public hearings on the future regulation of medical marijuana in Massachusetts are being held this month to bring clarity to the new law, which won by a landslide vote on the November 6th ballot.
On Wednesday evening in Worcester and Thursday in Boston, state officials from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health held a series public listening sessions before the implementation of medical marijuana regulations. The meeting, held at the Worcester Public Library, drew a large crowd and was standing room only. Another session is scheduled for February 27th at Holyoke Community College.
Under the law, which went into effect in January, the state has 120 days to hear comments and draft regulations on the use of medical marijuana. Alec Loftus, a spokesman from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, says that the Department of Public Health is looking for input on a few key areas.
Rick Gulla, a spokesman for the The Massachusetts Medical Society, a group that represents physicians across the Commonwealth, said that the Society will be meeting with the DPH to share their opinion. The Society is not opposed to medical marijuana use but would like to see a number of issues addressed. The Society is also asking the Department to reclassify marijuana, to allow it’s oversight by the state’s prescription monitoring program.
Some state lawmakers have also introduced pieces of legislation that would make changes to the medical marijuana law. State Representative John Sciback of South Hadley supports the legalization of medical marijuana, but also filed a bill that would make clarifications to the language included in the original ballot measure that was approved last November. Sciback said that he hopes the Department of Public Health will be able craft their regulations by their May 1st goal.
Those who are unable to attend the listening sessions but are interested in learning about the business side of the medical marijuana industry also have options thanks to DispensaryPermits.com. The Boston-based company is scheduled to host their inaugural “Green Rush” Conference on March 2nd where several successful medical marijuana entrepreneurs are set to speak. The event was originally scheduled for February 9th at the Westin Copley in Boston but was rescheduled due to the blizzard that hammered the Northeast last week.
Interested parties looking to attend the March 2nd conference at the Sheraton Boston Hotel from 9AM-6PM can register here.