Editorial: Keep stoned drivers off the road

Massachusetts is still riding the fiscal high of legalized marijuana, and Monday’s thumbs-up in the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy to new legislation shows the Legislature is in no hurry to tap the brakes.

Committee members polled about bills favored tighter restrictions on contracts between marijuana businesses and their host communities and establishing a Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund, and laying the groundwork for cities and towns to allow on-site cannabis consumption establishments. All 14 committee members who registered an opinion on a bill relative to the expungement of convictions for marijuana possession voted to advance it favorably, as the State House News Service reported.

“The gap between the law’s stated commitment to equity and the on-the-ground reality of the industry shows just how much work we have left to do,” Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy, said. “There’s universal agreement about the problems: High costs of entry and lack of access to capital create a near-impossible barrier for many talented entrepreneurs. This bill addresses both sides of that coin. I’m thrilled we’re finally advancing it.”

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