MA: On-Site Marijuana Consumption Legislation Due For Holyoke Council Discussion

Photo Credit: AP Photo

The city is trying to become an even bigger part of the marijuana industry conversation by proposing legislation to let businesses offer on-site consumption of pot.

The City Council June 5 referred to its Ordinance Committee an order supported by Mayor Alex B. Morse to have the Council and mayor petition the Massachusetts Legislature to allow on-site consumption where marijuana is sold.

The Ordinance Committee discussion about the proposed on-site consumption legislation has yet to be scheduled.

Exactly how permission for on-site consumption would be established and when are unclear. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) plans to establish rules to regulate the “social consumption and delivery to consumers” of marijuana in February, according to the board’s website.

The Commission perhaps as soon as its meeting scheduled for today could determine which applicants will be granted recreational marijuana licenses to begin operating in July. The board meets at 10:30 a.m. in the board room of the Department of Transportation, 10 Park Plaza, Boston.

The process for allowing on-site consumption is likely to involve cities and towns having to place a binding question before voters on an election ballot asking whether the community should permit consumption of pot where it’s sold, state Rep. Aaron M. Vega, D-Holyoke, has said.

But questions include how soon cities and towns can begin the process of arranging to offer such ballot questions, such as whether Holyoke could put a question on this year’s state election ballot Nov. 6, Vega said.

Morse said that for Holyoke, letting folks use the product at point of sale is another way to view the marijuana industry as economic development, with the jobs and tax revenue such businesses would bring.

Morse has won praise from the marijuana industry and advocates of making pot available for his early support of state ballot measures that legalized medical marijuana in 2012 and recreational marijuana four years later.