BOSTON – One of the state’s most prominent business associations today announced its opposition to the ballot question to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) cited numerous concerns, including the increased risks around job safety and the overall impact on Massachusetts communities.
RAM has been the voice of the Commonwealth’s retailers for almost 100 years, representing small and medium-sized businesses across Massachusetts. Among the business concerns that it cited included issues around worker safety and reports of higher absenteeism rates for employees who test positive for marijuana.
Local retailers are also active members of their communities, and RAM cited numerous concerns about the impact of marijuana legalization on families and neighborhoods. For instance, RAM raised concerns about the promotion and sale of edible marijuana products, and their impact on children. The small business community also is focused on maintaining a main streets environment featuring a mix of family-oriented business to continue to attract viable consumer traffic.
“The Retailers Association believes the legalization of the marijuana industry in Massachusetts is the wrong path for businesses and our communities,” RAM President Jon Hurst said. “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.”
RAM joins the Associated Industries of Massachusetts as major business associations opposing this ballot question. It also joins a growing coalition of health care and community leaders, anti-addiction advocates, educators, first responders, and families who are opposing the legalization of commercial marijuana in Massachusetts.
Among the groups that have already come out in opposition to this initiative include: the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Association of School Superintendents, the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, the National Association of Mental Illness (Massachusetts Chapter), the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, and all Massachusetts District Attorneys.