A man uses a lighter and glass pipe to smoke some cannabis.

Amarett Jans

Massachusetts Cannabis Regulators Back Social-Use Program

In a 3-2 vote, Massachusetts regulators narrowly approved the creation of regulations for a pilot social-use cannabis program. Currently, Alaska is the only other state with a social-use program.

Full story after the jump.

Cannabis regulators in Massachusetts voted 3-2 on Thursday in favor of a social-use pilot program that would allow cannabis consumption clubs to open in 12 cities throughout the state, the Boston Herald reports. The program would give social-equity applicants the first crack at new licenses.

The board still needs to craft regulations for the clubs – which could come as soon as the end of this month or as late as the fall, the report says. Vaping and edible consumption would be allowed indoors while smoking would be limited to outdoors until the rules for ventilation could be crafted.

Opponents of the proposal cited drugged-driving concerns, including Chelsea police Chief Brian Kyes who said the law enforcement community is “concerned” with permitting social use because there are no mechanisms in place to test for individuals driving under the influence of cannabis. Cannabis Commissioners Britt McBride and Jennifer Flanagan both voted against the plan, with McBride calling the sequence “all wrong.”

“I don’t think that we should be allowing social consumption unless and until the state addresses the ability to better detect marijuana impairment. … The potential for harm outweighs the potential for good that could come out of us moving ahead with this.” – McBride, during the meeting, via the Herald

Only Alaska allows social cannabis use statewide. Las Vegas and Denver, the largest cities in Nevada and Colorado, both allow for social-use within city limits, along with some California cities.

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