In July, the state of Massachusetts will start the sale of recreational marijuana and now the government is also considering “marijuana clubs”. A Cannabis Advisory Board subcommittee proposed the notion, which could lead to the creation of social marijuana lounges where people can purchase and smoke marijuana, just like alcohol at bar.

“The package store model is old-fashioned, and the consumer really wants a place to consume cannabis and do it safely,” said Michael Latulippe, a Cannabis Advisory Board member. Officials are taking into consideration that social lounges could play a role in reducing the chance of children encountering marijuana, while also lessening the amount of illegally transported out of state.

“By having these onsite facilities, we could potentially alleviate the need for some parents to go home with the cannabis themselves, allow them to consume it on site,” Latulippe explained and added that, “It also alleviates the issue of interstate trafficking with tourists and people who are going to be coming to the state. Requiring them to buy large quantities of cannabis could cause for some problems”.

Latulippe has proposed multiple levels of licensing, like those in both the tobacco and alcohol industries. “We could develop tiered licensing, in a sense similar to how alcohol is managed in terms of wine and beer, and hard liquors already for bar establishments. Basically, this tiered licensing type would include inhalation, ingestion and dermal application as well as one retailer license that would encompass all types of marijuana consumption,” Latulippe said.

In addition to licensing, regulations would need to be instated regarding consumption in social clubs, much like alcohol in a bar or nightclub. The Board has proposed multiple guidelines to the Cannabis Control Commission, which is responsible for regulating consumption. The guidelines included serving sizes, a maximum number of servings, and a set maximum daily exposure limit. The CCC is determined to establish a set of regulations with the hopes of a draft ready by December 29.

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