Mass. Voters Approve of Legal Pot; Now What? | NECN
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Mass. Voters Approve of Legal Pot; Now What?

The use and possession of marijuana in a private place, for anyone 21 and older, will be legal on Dec. 15

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    Massachusetts residents voted Tuesday to legalized recreational marijuana. With that, come a number of regulations including where marijuana shops can be built and how police will monitor the use of the drug. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016)

    Massachusetts residents voted Tuesday to legalized recreational marijuana. With that, come a number of regulations including where marijuana shops can be built and how police will monitor the use of the drug.

    On Dec. 15, the recreational use and possession of marijuana in a private place, for anyone 21 and older will officially be legal.

    Buying and selling marijuana legally will take some time.

    "There’s a 15 member advisory council that’s appointed by the governor,” said Will Luzier, the campaign manager for "Yes on 4." "That’s supposed to be appointed by February 1st of 2017."

    The advisory council will be created to help guide the Cannabis Control Commission.

    "The cannabis control commission would be appointed on March 1st. They will begin regulations which should start September 15th of 2017," said Luzier.

    The Treasurer of Massachusetts, Deborah Goldberg, will be in charge of appointing three people to the commission. They’ll be in charge of enforcing regulations.

    "One of the requirements is that someone has experience on issues around marijuana," said Goldberg. "We also recognize that you need a skill set that understands how to operate across the executive offices."

    During an address Wednesday afternoon at the state house Goldberg said she takes issue with how the question addresses state revenue.

    "We have no anticipated revenues to support this effort just for the commission, then all these executives offices I’ve mentioned and public safety and zoning will all have additional costs," said Goldberg.

    As for the way the question is laid out now the next important date is Oct. 1, 2017. That’s when license applications will be accepted.

    Supporters note, that for the first year of the program only medical marijuana dispensaries can apply.

    "Sales through dispensaries won’t be available until about January 2018," said Matthew Allen, the field director for the ACLU of Massachusetts.

    That’s a deadline Goldberg isn’t sold on.

    "The timeline is critical," said Goldberg. "We’re going to get this right."

    Goldberg said it’s possible to make changes to the question but lawmakers may not visit that idea until the spring.

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