The Special Senate Committee on Marijuana Releases Its Official Report

Chairman Jason Lewis and the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana today released the Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana, a thorough review of current marijuana laws in Massachusetts and an objective analysis of the many public policy considerations in which lawmakers will need to engage if Massachusetts were to legalize the adult recreational use and sale of marijuana.

Since its inception over a year ago, the Committee has conducted a comprehensive and unbiased review of marijuana health, safety, and economic and fiscal impacts.  The Committee closely examined lessons to be learned from other states that have experience with marijuana legalization, primarily Colorado and Washington.  The Committee consulted with more than 75 expert stakeholders, including government officials, law enforcement, academics and policy experts, healthcare providers, cannabis reform advocates, and marijuana industry participants.  Committee members and staff also spent four days on the ground in Colorado, observing firsthand the phases of the industry from seed to sale and hearing directly from stakeholders including people both regulating and working in the industry.

“The Committee was charged with undertaking an in-depth and comprehensive review of the best available data and evidence concerning the potential impacts, costs, and benefits of marijuana legalization, and I believe that we have diligently fulfilled that charge with the release of our report today,” said Chairman Lewis.  “This report represents countless hours of thorough research by numerous dedicated public servants.  It will be an invaluable tool to inform legislators as we shape public policy for the Commonwealth in this area.  I thank Senate President Stan Rosenberg for his trust in empowering me to Chair this Special Committee, and I commend him for his leadership in seeking to proactively address this important issue.”

“Thank you to Senator Lewis and the members of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana for their hard work over the past year to produce this thorough and comprehensive report,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).  “It is not often that we get a chance to visit other states to examine how issues have evolved before potentially being adopted here at home.  Conducting our research and learning from Colorado and Washington will inform policymakers in the months and years to come about particular issues surrounding marijuana legalization.”

The vast breadth of policy considerations analyzed in the report include those pertaining to: possession, use, and consumption issues such as legal sales age, possession allowance, public use, and driving under the influence; product and packaging issues such as the types of products allowed, packaging and labeling requirements, and potency levels; growth, distribution, sales, and marketing issues such as tracking, licensing requirements, home growing, and advertising and marketing restrictions; taxation and revenue issues such as taxes and fees levied and how revenue would be used; and, a variety of other issues including regulatory authority, banking and employment issues, and compliance with federal law.

The Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana can be found online at