The committee on Monday heard from Sen. Julian Cyr, who filed a bill (S 1125) that would allow any municipality that allows retail marijuana sales to authorize on-site consumption “through an ordinance or by-law” rather than a community-wide vote.
Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, laid out a situation in which an of-age visitor to Provincetown buys marijuana legally, pays the state’s taxes on the product and then has no place to legally consume it because they are staying at a hotel or some other place where consumption is not allowed.
“There really is no legal space to consume those products and I have a real concern that if we don’t find a pathway for people to legally be consuming this product they’re able to buy that we’re going to have some problems around public safety,” he said.
Rep. Hannah Kane, who also served as a negotiator on the rewritten marijuana law, said she is uncomfortable with the idea of changing the law from requiring a vote of the residents to a decision of a town’s legislative body.
“I agree there is clarity needed. The bill before us isn’t necessarily providing clarity, it’s providing a different method,” Kane, a Shrewsbury Republican said. “Clarity, I’m all for and I can buy into that. Changing the method by which it goes before communities, that’s what I have an issue with.”
She added, “it makes it much easier to have it than the current law.”
Cyr said he supports allowing towns that already permit retail marijuana sales to OK social consumption through an ordinance “because we may need to move quickly on this issue” and the next biennial state election is not until November 2020.