City health officials have scheduled a hearing to “clarify” what the term “marijuana accessories” means after having voted to ban such items from local stores without specifying exactly what products would be affected.

A “regulation to ensure the sanitary and safe operation of adult-use marijuana establishments and the sale of adult use marijuana” was unanimously passed by the Fall River Board of Health last month, establishing a collection of various restrictions on local businesses tied to the marijuana retail industry. Among these restrictions was a new prohibition on so-called “marijuana accessories,” which limited their sale only to licensed marijuana establishments and adult-use tobacco stores.

Passing this restriction meant businesses such as convenience stores could no longer sell marijuana accessories.

 

When asked by The Herald News shortly after the vote what products qualified as marijuana accessories, several local health officials were unable to say whether certain products would be included.

Board of Health Agent Tess Curran elaborated after the vote that the new regulation would apply to smoking pipes, bongs or vape pens that could be filled with marijuana. Board of Health Chairman Thomas Cory said one day after voting that he believed the term “marijuana accessories” applied to “different types of (digital) scales and pipes.”

The regulation itself gives the term a fairly broad definition as “equipment, products, devices, or materials of any kind that are intended or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing adult-use marijuana into the human body.”

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission, which regulates Massachusetts’ marijuana industry, has a broader definition. It describes marijuana accessories as “equipment, products, devices or materials of any kind that are intended or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing cannabis or marijuana into the human body.”

The city’s health department could not say last month whether the regulation would also restrict what businesses can sell products such as blunt wraps, rolling papers or digital scales. The department confirmed that lighters do not constitute marijuana accessories, despite their frequent use in the process of “introducing adult-use marijuana into the human body.”

In addition to its policy on marijuana accessories, the regulation approved by the Board of Health included several other policies, including banning the sale of CBD edibles to persons under the age of 21 and prohibition of the commercial gifting of marijuana.

Tobacco retail businesses that don’t allow children inside their stores will still be able to sell marijuana accessories, but these businesses only make up a small percent of the Fall River stores licensed to sell tobacco. Of the roughly 130 retail tobacco licenses, 13 are held by businesses that bar minors from entering.

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