Massachusetts Liquor Stores Want to Get In on the State’s Legal Weed Industry
Regulation experts don’t expect the state to allow both vices to co-exist on store shelves.
Published on March 12, 2017

Recreational use cannabis is legal in Massachusetts, and as the regulations are put in place to license and regulate retail stores to sell the sticky icky, the Bay State’s existing government-sanctioned vice-pushers are trying to get in on the gig.

According to the Boston Herald, the Massachusetts Package Stores Association, or liquor store association, has voted to support members in their applications to supplement their booze sales with legal weed.

The move from the Package Store Association surprised some, but won’t mean much unless regulations allow for the two products to be sold in the same store. Jim Borghesani, a Massachusetts legalization advocate and spokesman for the Yes on 4 Coalition, isn’t sure that will be the case.

“I can imagine a world where everyone who meets the requirements that will be set forth by the Cannabis Control Commission can gain a license,” Borghesani said, “but those requirements are going to be, I anticipate, very stringent. I don’t think you are going to see a situation where you’re going to see marijuana sold next to beer.”

But even if legal weed is kept separate from booze, cigarettes and other regulated vices for now, more time and a change in federal classification could change that, and Bill Downing, member liaison for the Massachusetts chapter of NORML, isn’t shocked that liquor store owners want in on the action.

“Now that it’s coming, they want in on that cash game. As far as I’m concerned — welcome aboard.” Downing said. ““I believe it’s inevitable, people are going to look back on Prohibition as horrifically stupid, and we’ll just move on with moderation from there.”

But in the meantime, Massachusetts regulations will most likely take the lead of existing legal weed states, and set up individual pot shops that will only be allowed to deal in the sticky icky stuff. And until then, you can always find a “gift shop” with some expensive t-shirts and take a separate trip to the local liquor store.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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