June 3, 2016
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Fears among Massachusetts retailers about the impact of legalized marijuana on their workers are “baseless,” according to the campaign pushing a November legalization ballot question, which says there have been no issues involving worker impairment in four states with legal marijuana.
The Retailers Association of Massachusetts on Wednesday joined a growing list of groups and public officials opposed to the initiative petition, with association president Jon Hurst asserting that increased access to marijuana “will negatively impact worker safety and productivity in many companies across the state.” Like other opponents of the question, the association raised concerns about potent edible marijuana products.
Jim Borghesani, communications director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, said the proposed law would leave it to a state Cannabis Control Commission to develop regulations covering edibles, including labeling, packing, and portion measurement and said the campaign anticipates that Massachusetts would have the nation’s strictest regulations that draw on experiences of other states.
“Legalization is working in other states and will work in Massachusetts,” Borghesani said in a statement. “These states are seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues along with thousands of new jobs. Legalizing and regulating marijuana will take the power away from gangs and cartels and place control with state and local authorities.”
An association official told the News Service Wednesday that retailers are concerned about employees using marijuana and then driving trucks. Employers that currently have policies warning against marijuana use would face a new landscape if marijuana were legal, the official said, and retailers in Colorado, where adult marijuana use is legal, say it’s difficult to police in the work environment.