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Amherst Official Says College Town Will Need More Staff When Pot Stores Open


An official in Amherst estimates the Massachusetts college town will have to hire two additional police officers and four emergency medical responders to prepare for the opening of retail marijuana stores. 

     The town’s economic development chief, Geoff Kravitz, estimates implementing the recreational marijuana law will cost about $550,000 annually. 

            Select Board member Andrew Steinberg said Amherst faces unique health and safety concerns because a large part of the population is close to the legal age for marijuana consumption.

     "Over 30 percent of our population is under the age of 20, and more than 65 percent of the population is under the age of 25," said Steinberg during recent testimony to the legislature's Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy.

     The voter-approved law set 21 as the legal age for marijuana possession.

     Retail marijuana stores can open after July 1st 2018.