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”.

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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

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.

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Catholic Archdiocese Donates $850,000 to Fight Cannabis Legalization in Massachusetts

ArchdioceseThe Catholic Archdiocese of Boston have donated $850,000 to the primary campaign opposed to Massachusetts Question 4, which would legalize cannabis for those 21 and older. The donation is a last-minute effort to defeat the popular measure, which is supported by a plurality of voters according to recent polling.

The church’s contribution represents a roughly 50% increase in the total donations made to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, reports the Boston Globe. Archdiocesan officials have also sent materials to parishes as well as schools arguing against Question 4.

Read moreCatholic Archdiocese Donates $850,000 to Fight Cannabis Legalization in Massachusetts

One Week Until These Five States Vote on Legalizing Cannabis

states voteIt’s hard to believe, but we are now just one week and two days away from the 2016 election. In addition to a heated presidential race, there are five states voting on the legalization of cannabis for those 21+.

Below are these five states, all of which have the opportunity on November 8th to legalize cannabis:

Read moreOne Week Until These Five States Vote on Legalizing Cannabis

Massachusetts’ Largest Newspaper Endorses Question 4 to Legalize Cannabis

question 4The Boston Globe has officially endorsed Question 4 to legalize recreational cannabis. The Globe is the most circulated newspaper in Massachusetts, and one of the top 15 most circulated papers in the entire United States.

“The opponents of Question 4, which would legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, have inadvertently provided the best reason to vote for the measure”, starts the Globe’s endorsement letter. “Those opponents include virtually every elected official and law enforcement officer in the state, from Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey on down, and their lockstep opposition (with the lonely exception of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg) sends a clear message that Beacon Hill will not legalize marijuana on its own, no matter how little popular support prohibition may have.”

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Massachusetts’ Cannabis Legalization Initiative Allows Possession of up to 10 Ounces

Massachusetts' Cannabis LegalizationThere are five states voting to legalize recreational cannabis this November; Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and California. Out of all of these states, Massachusetts’ proposal is the most progressive in terms of its possession limits.

The initiatives up for vote in each of the five states (which we detail here) are all quite similar; they all allow the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, the personal cultivation of a small number of plants, and they all legalize state-licensed retail outlets. However, Massachusetts takes things a step further by allowing those 21 and older to possess up to 10 ounces in a private residence. Although it isn’t allowed to take that amount in public, the fact that the limit is 10 times higher than the amount allowed in most other legalization states is nothing to scoff at, and its passage would be a clear indication that voters are willing to accept the legalization of more than just one ounce.

Read moreMassachusetts’ Cannabis Legalization Initiative Allows Possession of up to 10 Ounces

10% of Entire United States Voting for Cannabis Legalization this November

legalizemeyoIn just two and a half months, five states – 10% of the entire U.S. – will be voting to legalize recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older. An additional four states will be voting for legalizing medical cannabis, making almost 20% of the U.S. voting on some for of cannabis legalization.

Having five states vote for legalization in one election is a huge deal, considering it’s taken over 70 years to get where we are now; four states with legal cannabis. Below is a breakdown of the recreational legalization measures being voted on this November 8th (less than three months):

Read more10% of Entire United States Voting for Cannabis Legalization this November

Group of 10 State Legislators Endorse Massachusetts Initiative to Legalize Cannabis

massThis November Massachusetts voters will be given the option of passing Question 4, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which would allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis, cultivate up to six plants for personal use, and would establish a system of state-licensed retail outlets and cultivation centers. Now, not long after the measure officially qualified for the November ballot, a large group of state legislators have endorsed the initiative.

Those endorsing the initiative include; Senators Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Pat Jehlen (D-Cambridge), as well as Representatives David Rogers (D-Cambridge), Marjorie C Decker (D-Cambridge), Tom Sannicandro (D-Framingham), Michael Moran (D-Brighton), Jay Livingstone (D-Boston), Brian Mannal (D-Centerville) and Mary Keefe (D-Worcester).

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Massachusetts Cannabis Legalization Initiative Officially Placed on November Ballot

By NORML

Massachusetts Cannabis Legalization Initiative

Massachusetts voters will decide this November on a statewide ballot measure to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail sale of cannabis.

The Secretary of State’s office has confirmed that initiative proponents, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, submitted a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Read moreMassachusetts Cannabis Legalization Initiative Officially Placed on November Ballot