12.15.2016
policy

Massachusetts Adults Can Now Legally Smoke, Hold, and Grow Pot

Retail sales and weed shops won’t be in business for at least a year.

Thursday marks the first day of legal, recreational adult-use of marijuana in Massachusetts. In November, 1.8 million Bay State voters approved ballot Question 4, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, legalizing devil lettuce at the state level. Possession and cultivation limits are set at 10 ounces of weed, 6 marijuana plants per person, and up to 12 plants per home.

Sanctioned retail sales won’t begin, and weed shops won’t open,  for at least another year.

“For the average citizen … this is going to mean they have to wait a while until they can go into a store or facility and purchase marijuana over the counter,” Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association told a Boston ABC affiliate.

In the meantime, Massachusetts adults and visitors 21 and over can legally possess and blaze up, while state officials determine licensing and taxation regulations. Law enforcement is wary of how the herb will be policed. Conducting sales without a proper state-granted license will still qualify the seller as a criminal drug dealer.

“The only way that you’re going to be able to access this drug is through the black market,” Walpole, Massachusetts, police chief John Carmichael said to local media.

Other states that legalized recreational marijuana in the 2016 election are California, Nevada, and Maine, where the pot ballot was approved by a margin of just more than 3,000 votes. Opposition to Maine's Question 1 petitioned for a recount, but is having trouble finding enough volunteers to conduct that recount.

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