In 2016, Massachusetts voted in favor of Question 4, which was slated to legalize marijuana by Jan. 1, 2018. Our legislators and local leaders now have the ability to better regulate and benefit economically from the sale of adult-use cannabis.

It’s the legislator’s responsibility to make information and educational opportunities around cannabis and its impact readily available to constituents. Information about cannabis laws, details about recreational use under the new law, and materials to help parents and schools talk about youth prevention will be essential during this transition. I will help lead this effort, in collaboration with local officials, and will continue to support navigating through this implementation at the State House.

As our state exercises the will of the voters, working alongside town officials and the Cannabis Control Commission is tantamount. We as a district cannot continue delaying the inevitable. There are many unknowns about how this law will impact our community; however, Massachusetts is not the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana. We can use the methods and lessons learned from other states to effectively implement these new businesses while still addressing concerns from the community. I believe the key to successfully administering this law will be transparency, communication and having open and honest conversations around the effects of this new industry.