Cannabis commission listening session held in Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts residents had the opportunity Wednesday to voice their concerns about the state’s new recreational marijuana law.

The Cannabis Control Commission held a public meeting at Holyoke Community College. Some attendees told the commission that they are worried about public safety.

“My biggest safety concern is that young people especially, who don’t understand the implication of driving under the influence- they might think they were safe to drive, when in fact, they were impaired,” Karen Walsh Pio of South Hadley said.

Others said they were concerned too many restrictions on the law could push people into the black market.

“I think it’s going to undermine the intent of the law, which is to squeeze-out the black market with the legal market,” Michelle Kasey of Northampton said.

Licensed recreational marijuana stores will be able to legally operate in Massachusetts after July 1, 2018.