Marijuana in Massachusetts
Say it ain’t so! On Dec.15th, will their be recreational marijuana in Massachusetts? I was taken back the last couple of days after hearing some concerning news coming from our northern neighbors. Are lawmakers in Massachusetts playing games with their constituents? Some legislators are pressing to hold back the enactment of the recently passed marijuana recreational bill according to the recent article from the Boston Globe.
“Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Monday that the results of the Massachusetts marijuana legalization measure passed by voters may not be certified in time for it to go into effect Dec. 15th, when the drug is slated to become legal for possession and use. A successful ballot initiative does not officially become law until it is certified by the eight-member Governor’s Council, a Colonial-era body that meets every Wednesday.”
All of us at Dabbin Dad want to see legal recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. There is a 50/50 chance they will be presented the official voting tallies from the vote when they are in session on December 14th. Galvin, said there is no calculated effort to delay implementation, and the law is certain to be certified by the beginning of next year. However, this is a concern for some officials in the state. Those like, Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, who will oversee the new industry, have expressed worry that allowing stores to begin offering recreational marijuana in January 2018 — as stipulated in the ballot measure — would not give regulators enough time to set up appropriate oversight to protect public health and safety.
The legalization initiative, which passed 54 to 46 percent, is slated to go into effect Dec. 15 allowing residents to legally grow marijuana at home. According to House majority leader Ronald Mariano, “We probably need to agree to extend the implementation date, so we can take an in-depth look at how the ballot question was written.” This would really upset me as a tax-paying resident of Massachusetts! Honestly, the bill was passed as is by the voters. If there were issues with the bill, those issues should have been acknowledged and announced by the politicians prior to Nov. 8th’s vote. The people of Massachusetts have spoken, now it’s time for politicians to meet their deadline.
Already there are rumors that retail shops selling marijuana may not open in Massachusetts until the middle of 2018 — or later — if lawmakers engaged in ongoing backroom discussions succeed in delaying parts of the legalization measure recently approved by voters. “We don’t want to see anything changed,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Massachusetts legalization effort. “I don’t understand why the Legislature wouldn’t just let the regulators tackle the issues of legalization and then, with regulators’ advice, make any changes later.”
Hopefully in the case of legal recreational cannabis we don’t see a similiar reaction from state lawmakers as it related to medical cannabis. Even though voters approved marijuana for medical use in November 2012, the first dispensary did not open until summer 2015.
Are you interested in understanding what the MA. Recreational Bill states, check it out here.
The home cultivation provision of the law is slated to go into effect Dec. 15th, allowing people to grow up to 12 marijuana plants per household.
Fingers crossed for my friends and family in MA!!! I’m looking forward to celebrating on Dec. 15th.
H/T: Boston Globe