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Bobby Burch

Massachusetts Regulators: Keep Cannabis Out of Federal Waters

Massachusetts regulators have warned residents and tourists against bringing cannabis out to sea, and into other federal waterways, despite the plant being legalized in the state.

Full story after the jump.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is warning the state’s residents and tourists that cannabis products “cannot be possessed or consumed in, or transported through, federal waterways despite state legalization.”

In a press release, Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan reminded consumers that federal restrictions are still in place and oceans are a federally regulated space. Flanagan also noted that it is illegal to operate water vessels while under the influence of cannabis.

“If you are planning to take a boat ride this summer in federal waters, leave your cannabis at home. And, it bears repeating never, ever drive a boat when under the influence of cannabis, or ride with a driver who may be at risk of being impaired.” – Flanagan in a statement

This isn’t the first time a state regulator or business has had to issue clarifications to citizens about potential federal law issued related to state-legal cannabis programs. In California, for example, LAX airport in California issued a clarification last year that passengers 21-and-older are allowed to carry cannabis products throughout the airport but should probably steer clear of Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, which are manned by federal employees.

The advisory from the Commission adds that some rivers in the state are also federally-controlled, along with the airspace. Other New England states, such as Vermont and Maine, also have federal lands within their borders, including Cape Cod National Seashore and Acadia National Park in Maine, and Lake Champlain in Vermont, which is patrolled by the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Nicole Groll told Boston.com that the agency had made 34 cannabis seizures in the waters from Maine to New Jersey last year, and simple possession under federal law carries a $500 fine up to $5,000 for repeated offenses.

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