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BELLOWS FALLS — As the community gets ready to vote on retail cannabis, several organizations are collaborating to host two open conversations about the substance at two events.

The town of Rockingham, Greater Falls Connections and Falls Area Community Television will co-sponsor two community events to inform Rockingham community members on the retail sale of cannabis opt-in vote, Act 164, on the docket for Town Meeting Day.

The first event on Wednesday, Feb. 9, “Cannabis Conversations,” invites parents and other adults to have open, honest and judgment-free conversations about youth and cannabis use. Windham Northeast Supervisory Union Student Assistance Professional Heather Waryas will present on the teen brain. Discussion topics will include how to talk to kids, youth mental health, trauma and preventing youth substance use. Information regarding local regulations and best practices for youth prevention will also be shared.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, there will be an informational forum for voters on topics including zoning and advertising, local control, potential economic costs and benefits and impacts on youth. Speakers will include Susan Westa from Windham Regional Commission, local cannabis entrepreneur Deb Fox, Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham) on legislative updates, Greater Falls Connections on youth prevention and a speaker with expertise in youth mental health. Mike Smith and Marty Gallagher from FACT-TV’s The Feed will moderate and invite questions from the community. Questions can be emailed to fact@fact8.com prior to the event.

Both events will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Cannabis Conversation will be virtual, and the Cannabis Voter Information Forum will be hybrid on Zoom and in-person at the Bellows Falls Opera House Lower Theater. For those attending in-person, masking and social distancing will be encouraged. A video recording of the voter forum will be posted on FACT-TV’s website. Zoom links will be available on the Facebook pages of FACT-TV and Greater Falls Connections on the day of each event.

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