BOSTON — A week into retail marijuana sales in Massachusetts and more then $2 million later, people across the state are becoming more and more familiarized with what cannabis really is and how it affects the human body.
With legalization comes education and advocates across the state are working to dismantle long standing taboos over pot and to ensure people are safely consuming cannabis.
With that in mind, the Cannabis Control Commission is in the midst of a multi-pronged video campaign about the dangers and rules surrounding edible pot.
Much like any legal substance, the key is moderation. The CCC, however, is also angling their campaign at helping adults 21 and over understand how to keep marijuana edibles for themselves and away from kids.
On Tuesday morning, the commission put out a new series of educational videos, each one targeting different audiences.
A 15-second video tweeted by the CCC is making it's way through social media to raise awareness to how adults should store their edibles and ensure they're out of reach of children. Marijuana-infused chocolates and gummies that might otherwise look harmless should not be consumed by those younger than 21.
"It's much more potent today and is available through edibles and vaping devices that can appeal to your kids, learn how to keep your kids safe," the video says.
Other parent-focused videos from the CCC are centered around having the "pot talk" at home.
"Now is a good time to talk about marijuana with your kids, [to] set clear rules about marijuana use, learn more at MJ.org.," the video says.
Cannabis Control Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan spoke to Boston 25 News about the strategy behind the videos and the impact the CCC is hoping to have.
"I think the honest truth it is not going to be away from children and you are going to have parents that consume this," said Flanagan. "You're going to have older siblings that consume this and just being aware [its] just the same thing as you having alcohol in your house - you want to lock it up and make sure that its securely put some where where kids cant get to it."
As pot products fly off the shelves at the only two state licensed retailers, the awareness campaign is also growing on social media. Soon, the CCC's campaign will be seen on billboards and public transit and is based on strategies used in other states where pot is legal along with research and focus group input.
"I think messaging, as long as it affects you and as long as you can tap into that its going to be effective and it doesn’t matter to us if its cheesy or if its real people or if its cartoon characters," said Flanagan.
However, one cannabis educator tells Boston 25 News he believes the commission's videos are biased and is questioning the way they are trying to reach their audience.
Kamani Jefferson, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council says that, while he favors public education on pot, he sees little value in the video.
"It's a little biased, they specifically are talking about potency and edibles [and] it comes off a little fearful as a consumer," said Jefferson.
The CCC launched a public awareness campaign on marijuana back in August, which you can find here. Public awareness videos for responsible consumers can be found here and for parents and guardians can be found here.
Cox Media Group