Massachusetts Lawmakers Vote to Delay Recreational Marijuana Sales

The Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday delayed the key provisions of new recreational marijuana law after which the backer of the provisions are not happy. Jim Borghesani, communications director for the Yes on 4 campaign, which lobbied for legalization, said the January 2018 deadline was enough time to prepare for the opening of retail dispensaries.

According to the Senate president the vote was unanimous in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill does not impact personal possession or home grow provisions which went into effect December 15. Cultivating marijuana or giving it as a "gift" remains legal in the state but retail sales are still prohibited. While planning to review the legislation, Baker on Wednesday said a six-month delay is "perfectly appropriate". "This short delay will allow the necessary time for the Legislature to work with stakeholders on improving the new law".

Voters approved a ballot measure November 8 that would allow marijuana to be sold legally in MA, following in the footsteps of Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

"This measure was carefully written with full consideration of timelines and processes we don't think that any legislative action was necessary", he said, adding that it mirrored the timelines taken by Washington and Colorado, which both legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

A spokesperson for Republican government Charlie Baker has suggested the possible need for more local control over pot shops and limits on the potency of edible marijuana products.

"The Legislature has a responsibility to implement the will of the voters while also protecting public health and public safety", Rosenberg told the paper. About 1.5 million people voted against it.

"We are very disappointed that the Legislature has made a decision to alter Question 4 in an informal session with very little notice regarding proposed changes", said Jim Borghesani, who was instrumental in the Question 4 campaign.

The switch means there will be no legal way for those in MA to legally purchase marijuana, although people in the state will still be allowed to trade marijuana grown in private residences without any financial transactions involved. He said, "The hope is that we will have it on the governor's desk in time for it to be smoothly implemented starting six months from now". Under Segerblom's proposal, the temporary sales would be allowed at dispensaries until the Nevada Department of Taxation begins issuing recreational marijuana licences.

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