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”.