Retail group opposes marijuana proposal

Printed from:

Citing concerns about worker safety, Massachusetts retailers on Wednesday declared their opposition to legalizing adult use of marijuana.

“The Retailers Association believes the legalization of the marijuana industry in Massachusetts is the wrong path for businesses and our communities,” Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst said in a late afternoon statement. “The increased accessibility of marijuana will negatively impact worker safety and productivity in many companies across the state. Retailers also have a major stake in promoting safe, healthy communities, and the introduction of the marijuana industry runs counter to that goal.”

An association official told the News Service retailers are concerned about employees using marijuana and then driving trucks or delivering merchandise. Employers that currently have policies warning against marijuana use would face a new landscape if marijuana were legal, the official said, and retailers in Colorado, where adult marijuana use is legal, say it’s difficult to police in the work environment.

The statement from the retailers’ group, which also raised concerns about edible marijuana products and their impact on children, was released by the Campaign for a Safe & Healthy Massachusetts, the group formed to oppose the ballot question. The campaign said small businesses are “focused on maintaining a main streets environment featuring a mix of family-oriented business to continue to attract viable consumer traffic.”

The questions supporters are arguing that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and say a legal marijuana industry will replace the illegal marijuana trade.

— Written by Michael Norton

Copyright State House News Service