Cannabis cafes coming to Massachusetts soon as regulators finalize guidelines

Cannabis cafes coming to Massachusetts soon as regulators finalize guidelines

So-called "cannabis cafes" are coming to Massachusetts as state regulators work to finalize the guidelines ahead of its rollout. 

"We legalized cannabis and didn't give anybody a place to actually smoke," said former Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, who now owns Apex Noire in downtown Boston. 

Jackson's cannabis shop boasts a retractable rooftop on the 7th floor, turning the retail business into a lounge. All he's missing is a social consumption license. 

"Our objective would be to prepare and have a chef-guided menu, just as many other parts of our society, to really normalize cannabis," Jackson told WBZ TV. 

A place where adults 21 and up can smoke, eat an edible or consume cannabis-infused food and drinks.

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has spent the summer in public hearings listening to concerns. The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association has a few. 

"Our first and major concern is how they're going to handle impairment and driving. I hope they're being thoughtful with the regulations," said Salisbury Police Chief Thomas Fowler, who heads the association. 

By offering a place where adults can sip and smoke, Fowler is worried about how officers can determine whether someone is too high to drive. 

"THC stays in the system a long time. So it's very hard to pinpoint at that moment…how much THC they have in their system," he explained. 

Then there's the issue of secondhand exposure to marijuana. It's an issue the CCC is reviewing. 

"Cigar bars do exist, but how many times does the air have to move throughout the room? What are the requirements around that?" questioned Jackson. 

These are just some of the questions swirling as the CCC works to give the green light for the next era of marijuana.

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Region: Massachusetts