SECTION 1. Chapter 94G of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 14 the following new section:-
Section 15. (a) The commission shall develop an annual research agenda in order to understand the social and economic effects of marijuana in the commonwealth and to obtain scientific information relative to the biology, neuroscience, psychology, sociology, epidemiology and etiology of marijuana use and marijuana abuse. The secretary of health and human services, with the advice and consent of the commission, may expend funds from the Marijuana Regulation Fund established in section 14 of this chapter to implement the objectives of the research agenda which shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) comprehensive legal and factual studies of the social and economic impacts of marijuana in the commonwealth on: (a) state and local governments; and (b) communities and social institutions generally, including individuals, families and businesses within such communities and institutions; provided, however, that the matters to be examined in such studies shall include, but not be limited to:
(i) a review of existing federal, state and local policies and practices with respect to the legalization or prohibition of marijuana, including a review of the costs of such policies and practices;
(ii) an assessment of the relationship between marijuana and the criminal justice system to include an assessment of racial or demographic disparities;
(iii) an assessment of any marijuana abuse, including its impact on individuals, families, businesses, social institutions and the economy;
(iv) an assessment of the health benefits of medical marijuana use;
(v) an assessment of the impact of marijuana use on individuals, families, businesses, social institutions and the economy generally, including the role of advertising in promoting marijuana and the impact of marijuana on depressed economic areas;
(vi) an assessment of the extent to which similar state marijuana legalization laws have provided revenues to other state and local governments;
(vii) an assessment of the costs of added infrastructure, police force, health care utilization and dependency on public assistance; and
(viii) an assessment of the impact of the development and operation of the marijuana establishments on small businesses in host municipalities and surrounding municipalities, including a review of any economic harm experienced and potential solutions to mitigate associated economic harm.
(2) individual studies conducted by academic institutions and individual researchers in the commonwealth to study topics which shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the short and long term effects of marijuana on the human brain; (ii) the sociology and psychology of marijuana use and marketing; and (iii) the epidemiology and etiology of marijuana use and marijuana abuse in the general population; provided, however, that when contracting with researchers to study such issues, the commission shall encourage the collaboration among researchers in the commonwealth and other states and jurisdictions. Any research paid for with public funds shall be made available for the public.
The commission shall annually make scientifically-based recommendations which reflect the results of this research to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on mental health and substance abuse, the joint committee on public health and the joint committee on marijuana. The commission shall consider any such recommendations, research and findings in all decisions related to enhancing responsible marijuana use and mitigating marijuana abuse.
(b) The commission and the secretary of health and human services shall incorporate the findings from the baseline study of marijuana use in the commonwealth in chapter 351 of the acts of 2016.
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