RE: “Push for new pot regulator builds” (Page A1, April 4).
A bill sponsored by Representative Denise Prevost (H.3195) proposes a cost-effective regulatory system that uses existing departments, requires fewer tax dollars, and eliminates the fear of concentrated power. It places post-production regulation under the Department of Public Health, monetary control under the Department of Revenue, and the regulation of production under the Department of Agricultural Resources.
The bill requires no new bureaucracy, has a robust regulatory system, provides struggling family farms a lucrative crop, allows small producers to compete with large corporations, levels the playing field for people from communities most harmed by decades of prohibition, provides superior protections for children, and establishes banking rules for a now all-cash industry.
The Department of Health testified they are ready to assist the Department of Treasury in duplicating the medical marijuana regulatory system for the recreational market, a waste of $10 million. H.3195 expands the DPH system to regulate recreational cannabis.
The Department of Agriculture testified they have a system of statewide inspectors, offices, equipment, and experienced personnel in place, familiarity with farming in Massachusetts, and decades of experience overseeing the quality control, safety, and environmental issues surrounding the production of all agricultural products. They are well positioned to oversee the crop, from planting to shipping (where DPH takes over, as they do with milk). The farmers of Massachusetts want and need to grow this lucrative crop. H.3195 provides regulations for such production.
The writer is a farmer and a member of the board of directors of Mass Cann/NORML.