Massachusetts Regulators Consider Cannabis Lounge Licenses

Heady Vermont Staff 6 Dec 2017

BOSTON, Mass. — State regulators and cannabis industry experts are meeting to discuss detailed proposals for exactly how a taxed and regulated cannabis program would operate. On Tuesday, members of the Cannabis Industry Subcommittee — a subcommittee of the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board (CAB), which reports to the official governmental body, the Cannabis Control Commission — recommended that Massachusetts create licenses for various locations at which residents (and tourists) can legally use cannabis in a social, non-public space, described practically as ‘cannabis lounges.’

The cannabis industry experts who shared the proposal compared a cannabis lounge to a cigar bar or a bar serving alcohol while outlining several specific advantages to a legal cannabis lounge:

  • Tourists staying in hotels and renters not allowed to consume in apartments would have a legal place to consume cannabis.
  • Parents would have a legal place to consume cannabis without ever bringing cannabis around children at home.
  • On-site consumption would reduce the likelihood of tourists purchasing larger amounts of cannabis and bringing extra cannabis across state lines.
  • Establishing a ‘social consumption’ limit at these locations could discourage overconsumption and allow ‘budtenders’ the right to refuse to serve consumers who may be impaired.

Members of the Cannabis Industry Subcommittee also suggested that cannabis lounges should have strong ventilation and air-filtration systems to protect employees from secondhand smoke, including those potentially operating kitchen equipment in a restaurant setting.

Other suggestions included implementing the same packaging and testing rules and standards presently used for medical marijuana, and impose no limit on the size of craft cannabis co-operatives.

The full article, titled “Regulators mull landscape for cannabis clubs and ‘budtenders'”, was originally reported on December 5, 2017 by Colin A. Young for the State House News Service and reported on, available online here.

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