Outside of Brockton, retail pot shops expected to be rare sight in area
Outside of Halifax, Rockland, suburban areas in Brockton say no to pot shops. That follows the statewide trend, where two-thirds of cities and towns said no to retail marijuana shops.
Joe Pelletier The Enterprise jdpelletier_ENT
BROCKTON — When commercial sales of marijuana begin this summer, it looks like most area customers will need to take a trip to Brockton.
That’s in part because a vast majority of suburban towns surrounding Brockton have said no to retail pot shops in town, voting against retail pot in Town Meetings or special elections. Only Halifax and Rockland have voted in favor of marijuana shops, potentially joining Brockton as the only places to offer recreational pot in the area.
The push against pot shops falls in line with the statewide trend, where nearly two-thirds of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns had either banned or implemented a moratorium on the local retail sales of adult-use marijuana, also known as recreational marijuana, according to data compiled by GateHouse Media, the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Attorney General’s Office.
In the last month, Avon, Whitman and East Bridgewater said no to pot shops in special elections.
“It’s a whole new industry with multiple concerns and considerations,” said Geoff Beckwith, executive director and CEO of the Massachusetts Municipal Association based in Boston.
Local decisions so far signal widespread caution and rejection of commercial sales, one of the latest iterations of adult-use marijuana legalization. Voters approved adult-use marijuana by referendum in 2016 and the state has since established a series of regulations and guidelines.
July 1 marks the start of commercial sales, meaning cannabis products will be available to retail consumers similarly to alcohol, although on-site and public consumption will continue to be prohibited. Much to the chagrin of cannabis advocates, at least 74 communities have already taken