Massachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20

The first legal recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts will take place on Tuesday, November 20.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightTwo marijuana retail outlets were given the green light today to begin selling recreational marijuana next week. New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate Holdings in Leicester will become the first outlets to sale marijuana as part of the state’s legalization initiative (passed by voters in 2016).

Both stores, which were given the go-ahead to open in three days by the Cannabis Control Commission, say they will open their door to recreational marijuana customers the morning of November 20. New England Treatment Access plans to open at 8 a.m., while Cultivate Holdings will open at 10 a.m.

Read moreMassachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20

Massachusetts Approves State’s First Recreational Marijuana Business License

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously yesterday to approve the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana business license.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightThe commission approved granting the license to Sira Naturals, a marijuana cultivation facility (located in Milford). The company currently grows medical marijuana.

“We’re very excited about it and we are going to work very, very hard to continue our tradition of providing premium cannabis sustainably grown and sold with integrity,” said Sira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas following the commission’s approval of his company’s license.

Read moreMassachusetts Approves State’s First Recreational Marijuana Business License

Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Roadside Drunk Driving Tests Not Valid for Marijuana

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that field sobriety tests used to determine if someone is drunk cannot be legally used as conclusive evidence that a motorist is under the influence of marijuana.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightAccording to the Associated Press, the Supreme Judicial Court said it was reasonable for police officers to testify — as non-expert witnesses — only to their observations about how individuals performed during sobriety tests. However, the court ruled that officers are not allowed to tell juries if defendants passed or failed such tests, nor offer their own opinions on whether a driver was too high to be behind the wheel.  The ruling came in a case of Thomas Gerhardt, who was charged with impaired driving in 2013.

The court noted there currently is no reliable scientific test for marijuana impairment comparable to tests for blood alcohol content. In drunken-driving cases, results of field sobriety tests can be correlated with blood alcohol readings as evidence of impairment. The lack of such a test for marijuana has taken on greater significance in states such as Massachusetts that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults, but where driving under the influence of cannabis remains a serious crime.

Read moreMassachusetts Supreme Court Rules Roadside Drunk Driving Tests Not Valid for Marijuana

Massachusetts to Garner Up to $172 Million in Annual Taxes From Marijuana Sales By 2020

Massachusetts is set to receive a large influx of annual tax money from marijuana sales once the industry gets underway, according to the Department of Revenue.

According to the department, the state will receive up to $172 million in annual tax revenue from legal marijuana sales by 2020. Voters legalized cannabis last year, but cannabis retail outlets aren’t expected to be open until next year.

The numbers are based on a 12% tax rate; this includes the standard 6.25% sales tax, a 3.75% excise tax and a 2% city-wide tax. Nevada lawmakers may still raise this to a higher tax rate, however. According to the department, if lawmakers raise the excise tax from 3.75% to 5%, the state would garner an additional $11 million in annual taxes.

Read moreMassachusetts to Garner Up to $172 Million in Annual Taxes From Marijuana Sales By 2020

Massachusetts Governor Signs Bill Delaying Opening of Cannabis Retail Outlets

baker
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) has signed into law a bill that delays the opening of cannabis retail outlets.

On November 8th Massachusetts voters gave approval to Question 4 to legalize cannabis. The initiative allows those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis (10 ounces at a private residence) and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. The measure also authorizes a regulated system of cannabis retail outlets.

The way the initiative was written, these outlets were expected to be open by January, 2018; roughly a year from now. The new law delays this by at least six months; this means the soonest these outlets can open is July, 2018.

According to the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, which held a protest at the State House, the delay; “not only flies in the face of the will of the voters who voted for the January 2018 deadline; it shows contempt for the legislature itself, having been passed, not after three readings to the full House and Senate, but in the course of less than an hour by just two senators and five representatives”.

Read moreMassachusetts Governor Signs Bill Delaying Opening of Cannabis Retail Outlets

With No Public Input Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Opening of Cannabis Outlets

By David Ingram, Reuters

Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday pushed through a surprise six-month delay in the retail sale of marijuana for recreational use, saying they needed more time to tinker with a legalization measure that voters approved last month.

Meeting during a holiday-shortened week, the state’s House and Senate voted to push back the licensing of cannabis shops from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1 that year, according to a copy of the legislation posted online.

The delay frustrated those who championed a Nov. 8 ballot measure, easily approved by voters, to allow use of the drug by adults 21 and older in private places.

Read moreWith No Public Input Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Opening of Cannabis Outlets

Everyone 21+ Can Now Possess, Use And Grow Cannabis In Massachusetts

legalizemeyoPortions of Question 4 have officially taken effect in Massachusetts. This means that it is now legal for everyone in the state who is 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis, or up to 10 ounces at a private residence.

Those 21+ can also legally grow up to six plants for personal use.

Cannabis retail outlets were also legalized under Question 4, but aren’t expected to be open until sometime in 2018.

Read moreEveryone 21+ Can Now Possess, Use And Grow Cannabis In Massachusetts

Cannabis Becomes Legal Tonight at Midnight in Massachusetts

On November 8th Massachusetts voters approved Question 4 to legalize cannabis. Tonight at midnight, as it becomes December 15th, a huge part of that initiative takes effect.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightOnce it hits midnight, it will immediately become legal for everyone 21 and older to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis; if at a private residence they can possess up to 10 ounces. They can also grow up to six plants.

At this point there is no legal outlet for those in the state to obtain cannabis, until the legal cannabis market is up and running (sometime next year). However, if somebody is already in possession of cannabis, or finds a way to obtain it, it won’t be legal for them to retain possession and consume it.

Read moreCannabis Becomes Legal Tonight at Midnight in Massachusetts

Cannabis Becomes Legal in Massachusetts on Thursday, December 15th

In less than a week – on December 15th – the possession and cultivation of cannabis will be legal for everyone 21 and older in Massachusetts.

December 15thUnder the new law, it’s legal for those 21+ to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis; when at a private residence the limit is raised to 10 ounces. The 10 ounce cap is the most progressive possession limit of any cannabis legalization law passed in the United States.

The new law also allows for the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants. Cannabis retail outlets are also allowed under Question 4 (approved by voters last month); however, they aren’t expected to be open until sometime in 2018.

Read moreCannabis Becomes Legal in Massachusetts on Thursday, December 15th

Massachusetts Voters Legalize Cannabis

Massachusetts Voters Have Legalized Cannabis Through the Passage of Question 4

Massachusetts VotersVoters in Massachusetts have passed Question 4 to legalize cannabis. Massachusetts is now the 5th state in the U.S. to end cannabis prohibition, following Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon.

Once Question 4 takes effect, cannabis will be legal for all uses for those 21 and older. This includes the possession of up to an ounce, and the cultivation of up to six plants. A regulated system of licensed cannabis retail outlets is also authorized under the measure.

Read moreMassachusetts Voters Legalize Cannabis