Last November, the voters of Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana. Since the will of the Massachusetts people became crystal clear, there have been roadblocks along the way that have stalled the law going into effect.
But the state’s regulators this week signed off on the new cannabis rules, removing a major hurdle for a planned retail launch this summer.
Steve Hoffman, chairman of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, told MassLive.com his agency intends to allow retail stores to open their doors by mid-summer.
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“As I said, we need to make sure our staff is in place, we need to make sure we have our technology in place, but our intent is to have a ‘go’ on July 1,” Hoffman told MassLive. “And we are hitting all of the deadlines that we have in the legislation. So I’m feeling good about that.”
Hoffman said that while his agency focuses on state regulations, local jurisdictions will be making their own rules. “We don’t control the decision-making process for cities and towns,” he said.
The tension between state and local regulations have the “potential” to slow down the opening of retail outlets, Hoffman warned. “It’s certainly possible, I’m hoping it’s not the case.”
There is no official count as to how many cannabis retail stores will be ready to open by July 1.
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Commissioners voted to approve warning labels to be placed on all cannabis products which includes the wording “not safe for kids.” Commissioners delayed rules on home delivery, cannabis cafes and movie theaters serving cannabis products.