Hashish Cafes: How Shut Massachusetts Is To Permitting The Joints

MASSACHUSETTS — Massachusetts is inching its way towards having legal cannabis social consumption sites, or cannabis cafes.

In a state where recreational marijuana sales have outpaced those of alcohol, it seems only fitting that users should have a place to consume the legal product.

On a 2016 ballot question, Massachusetts residents approved cannabis legalization, joining the likes of California, Maine and Nevada voters that year. Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon previously had legalized recreational marijuana.

Under the Massachusetts law, adults older than 21 are permitted to use, grow and sell marijuana in limited quantities without legal consequences. The state began allowing licensed recreational sales in 2018, but a technicality stalled the idea of ​​social consumption.

In April, the Massachusetts Senate passed a cannabis reform bill that would fix the technicality that prevented the state from allowing the social consumption industry to launch. If this reform is passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law, 12 communities across the Bay State may allow licensed cannabis cafes as part of a three-year pilot program.

Cannabis cafes are a newer concept across the nation, but the idea originally started in the 1970s, with the Dutch “coffee shop” concept where cafe guests could smoke and consume marijuana in a social setting that resembles a coffee shop.

Dede Perkins, co-founder and CEO of ProCanna recently spoke of the concept saying, “They’re a safe, enclosed space where cannabis consumers of legal age can come together and enjoy cannabis products, much like a bar environment for consuming alcoholic beverages. “

Cannabis cafes are an interesting topic of discussion for Massachusetts residents, especially since the Bay State banned smoking cigarettes inside workplaces, restaurants, and bars on July 5, 2004.

There are currently legal cannabis cafes operating in California, Illinois and Colorado. Massachusetts and Maine are the next states trying to get their hand in the concept.

Cannabis cafes are operating in a small number of US states today, including California, Illinois and Colorado. Several others, like Massachusetts and Maine, are on their way to allowing them to open, or at least considering them.

Among those 12 communities applying for cannabis cafes are Amherst, North Adams, Somerville, Springfield, and Provincetown.

Sen. Julian Cyr, of Truro, who represents the Cape and Islands district wants to push for Provincetown because there is currently nowhere for consumers legally to smoke any of their purchases from the town – which is now home to five cannabis stores.

“We have so much access to cannabis in some of these communities and so many visitors coming here,” Cyr told WickedLocal in response to the idea of ​​Provincetown housing the cafes.

Cyr spoke on behalf of residents, saying he hailed cannabis cafes as a “tremendously exciting opportunity” for business owners who are looking to embark on this missed opportunity and believes it will provide adults with a safe and regulated space to consume marijuana.

The main issue in place for Massachusetts is that law enforcement doesn’t have a way to test drivers who may be impaired by marijuana. According to the Cannabis Control Commission, Massachusetts is working on establishing a separate commission to look at that problem.

Though social consumption has been set to go in Massachusetts since 2019 when the Cannabis Control Commission approved the pilot program, the CCC said the program wouldn’t be able to start until there was a change in state law.

The vote in April was set to correct that issue when it passed the major cannabis reform bill, and now we wait until it is passed into law by the House of Representatives.

For more on this, read WickedLocal.