(BOSTON) – Today the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, chaired by Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Representative Mark Cusack (D-Braintree), announced details for the four public hearings they will be holding across the state. The hearings will allow the committee to receive testimony from advocates, state officials, municipalities, and the public, among other groups.
The first hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 20th at the State House and will begin at 11:00 AM in rooms A-1 and A-2 with an executive session for the committee to adopt rules, followed by testimony.
Representatives from the following groups have been invited to testify:
- Organizers of ‘Yes on 4’
- Treasurer Deborah Goldberg
- The Department of Public Health
- The Department of Revenue
- The Department of Agriculture
- The Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- Stephen Crosby, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chair
Public testimony will be taken at the conclusion of the invitation portion of the hearing.
Subsequent hearings have been scheduled for the following dates, times, and locations:
- March 27th, 4 PM, West Springfield High School Auditorium
- April 3rd, 11 AM, State House, Rms. A-1, A-2
- April 10th, 4 PM, Shrewsbury High School Auditorium
Members of the public will be invited to testify on issues related to legalized marijuana at each of the four hearings; however, the specific bills being heard at each hearing are still to be determined. Legislation is still being assigned to the committee and agendas are subject to change.
MARIJUANA COMMITTEE ROLLS OUT SCHEDULE
The treasurer, state gaming commission chairman, legalization advocates, and representatives from the attorney general’s office and a handful of state agencies have been invited to testify Monday at the first hearing of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy. Massachusetts voters in November approved a marijuana legalization law and it became legal for adults to possess, use and gift marijuana in December. Legislators are intent on making changes to the law. Monday’s hearing is the first of four hearings the committee has scheduled to hear from advocates, state officials, municipalities, the public, and other groups. The committee plans to adopt internal rules and then will welcome testimony from the organizers of the Yes on 4 ballot campaign, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Agriculture. Testimony from members of the general public will be accepted at the conclusion of the invitation portion of the hearing, according to the committee. The committee has also scheduled hearings for 4 p.m. on March 27 at the West Springfield High School auditorium, 11 a.m. April 3 at the State House, and 4 p.m. April 10 at the Shrewsbury High School. The committee, led by Braintree Rep. Mark Cusack and Somerville Sen. Patricia Jehlen, said the specific bills that will be heard at each hearing have not yet been determined. Monday’s hearing begins at 11 a.m. in Hearing Room A-1 and A-2 in the State House. – Colin A. Young/SHNS