Massachusetts delays opening of retail pot shops

Massachusetts delays opening of retail pot shops

It will remain illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts for the coming several months as the state lawmakers have approved a bill to delay the voter-approved measure.

The Massachusetts House and Senate passed the controversial bill on Wednesday, without any public hearing and debate. The passage of the bill means marijuana sales will remain illegal in the state for at least six months.

It has also delayed the licensing of pot shops. However, registered medical marijuana patients can buy and use the drug.

When asked for a comment on the decision, Senate President Stan Rosenberg said, “The Legislature has a responsibility to implement the will of the voters while also protecting public health and public safety.”

The marijuana-legalization measure, which allows adults 21 and over to possess marijuana for recreational purposes and grow up to a dozen pot plants in their home premises, took effect on Dec. 15. The bill will not change that. It just pushed back the opening of retail marijuana stores.

The ballot initiative for legalizing recreational marijuana was approved by 53.7 per cent of state voters on November 8th election. Recreational marijuana is already legal in a number of states in the U.S., including Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.