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Community speaks out in Hyannis

Former Barnstable Town Council member Richard Elrick took another approach in his comments. Elrick, a long-time advocate for marijuana legalization, noted the proposed regulations for marijuana are more stringent than those for alcohol, and he praised the commission for its approach to regulating cannabis.

“I’m very concerned about legislative intervention after the fact,” Elrick said. “The voters did their job and now you are doing your job and I think you are doing it in a good way,” Elrick said.

Spencer Knowles of Sandwich, co-founder of an organization called regulatecapecod.org, called for a “community-minded approach” to marijuana laws.

He cautioned against allowing delivery-only marijuana businesses, saying that would take away local towns’ ability to collect taxes on retail sales. State law allows towns to collect up to 6 percent in taxes on marijuana sales, something Knowles’ organization says could result in “hundreds of thousands of new tax dollars each year” for towns with retail marijuana shops.

Knowles called for organizing “a delegation of local town leaders” to visit marijuana cultivation facilities “to learn about this up-and-coming industry” before they vote on either banning or allowing marijuana sales in their towns.

Christine Greeley of Yarmouth, who said she has been involved in issues of substance abuse since 1972, said she never thought she would see “the creation of an addiction for profit industry.”

Greeley charged the regulations as proposed are too favorable to the marijuana industry. She said there are too many loopholes regarding marijuana bars and cafes and she want a better definition of a “single serving” in a marijuana cafe.