Ned Bristol: A hazy start to marijuana sales in Massachusetts
Buying marijuana for recreational use will become legal in Massachusetts on July 1 — but not everywhere in Massachusetts.
Many, if not most communities in the state, have taken steps to prohibit or delay the sale of marijuana within their borders. Citizens or governing bodies concluded they’ll be better off in the end without pot shops.
That split is occurring in the Attleboro area. These town-by-town decisions are still to come in some cases, so it’s not possible yet to know how much of the state will be open to marijuana sales.
That’s not to say, of course, that residents of what would be called a dry town in the days of Prohibition can’t buy their pot in a nearby city or town that sanctions marijuana sales. It just won’t be as convenient.
Foxboro, Wrentham and Norfolk are three of the communities which decided last year not to facilitate marijuana sales. Norton and Mansfield town meeting voters will consider bans next week.
Attleboro, meanwhile, is eager to capitalize on legalization of recreational marijuana for its tax revenue.
This sets up an interesting dynamic. It’s possible that five contiguous communities could end up without pot shops while others in The Sun Chronicle area will have them.
Which group will be better off in the end? Since momentum seems to be toward legalization, time will tell.
The statewide referendum on marijuana legalization in 2016 was favored by 54 percent of voters.
State government then created the Cannabis Control Commission to come up with regulations for sales, production and marijuana-related services for businesses effective July 1.
Unlike the simple up-or-down vote in 2016, implementation is complicated and it’s not surprising there have been delays and hitches along the way.
This frustrates marijuana advocates but they’re not