Cannabis Cafes Coming to Massachusetts

Just like buying a drink at the bar, you will soon be able to buy a marijuana product at a so-called "cannabis cafe" in Massachusetts and legally consume it right there.

It's something Will Luzier with Marijuana Policy Project of Massachusetts says will be life changing for many.

"It'll be a place where folks can go who can't use cannabis at home because they use federal housing, or their landlord won't let them, or because they have kids," explained Luzier.

The state agency that regulates legalized marijuana approved a policy on Monday, allowing for such establishments.

Right now, marijuana use in public is illegal in the state, but the Cannabis Control Commission is allowed to license on-premises marijuana establishments.

"A place that might serve food, a place that might be a yoga studio, or wellness studio that offers a massage," Luzier described. "It might be a local club."

The state agency says these businesses will not be allowed to serve alcohol. And like bartenders, marijuana servers will be properly trained to identify when someone is too intoxicated. But public safety officials still have many concerns, including accidents.

"You have to make sure that the safeguards are in place to make sure you're not over-serving people, people are not walking out of there, getting into a motor vehicle, driving away and getting into car crashes and hurting other people," said Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael.

Carmichael is part of the Cannabis Control Commission.

"We need to make sure that the purpose of the law and why people voted for it will be kept in tact, and that's making sure they're safe," he said.

The commission plans to vote on a draft of regulations next week. Those regulations will need to be finalized sometime next March. Marijuana businesses will be allowed to open July 1.

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