Cannabis Control Commission sets Pittsfield listening session Oct. 13

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BOSTON — As it embarks to stand up a legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission hopes to build momentum by holding regular weekly meetings and a series of listening sessions across the state beginning next week.

The final meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.

The commission did not meet last week, but Chairman Steven Hoffman said he expects that the CCC will meet every Tuesday moving forward, usually at 10:30 a.m. He hopes the routine of regular and frequent meetings will help the CCC gain some steam as it sets out to build the regulatory environment for pot.

"Starting today we're going to begin a rhythm of weekly commission meetings ... part of it is that we want to conduct our work and our deliberations in public and transparently, but part of it is I hope that as we get into this you'll see substantial progress and building momentum from week to week," Hoffman said Tuesday morning. "That's for you to decide. We're working hard and we're making good progress."

Beginning next week, the CCC will hold eight listening sessions around the state to hear from citizens about what they want to see in the CCC's marijuana regulations. One session — at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Statehouse — will be by invitation only. Commissioner Kay Doyle said various groups with a known interest in the development of the CCC's regulations have been invited to provide input to the CCC at that session.

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Doyle, who is spearheading the listening tour effort for the CCC, said the sessions are meant to inform the commission, not for the commission to inform the public.

"The commissioners will not be answering questions at the public listening sessions," said Doyle, the former deputy general counsel to the Department of Public Health who worked on the state's medical marijuana program. "The purpose of the public listening session is to hear from members of the public regarding the content of future proposed regulations."

In what is shaping up to be a busy week in the world of weed, the 25-member Cannabis Advisory Board is scheduled to convene its first meeting on Tuesday following the conclusion of the CCC meeting, Hoffman announced Tuesday.

The Cannabis Advisory Board is charged with studying and making recommendations on regulating marijuana in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker, Treasurer Deb Goldberg and Attorney General Maura Healey — all three opponents of legal marijuana — each appointed five members of the advisory board and another 10 members were specifically named by title in the legal marijuana law.

The inaugural CAB meeting is scheduled to be held on the 21st floor of One Ashburton Place after Tuesday's public CCC meeting wraps up.


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