Massachusetts Legalized Recreational Marijuana: Why the Delay on Opening Marijuana Shops?
Recently, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill intending to delay the opening of marijuana shops in Massachusetts. While the use of recreational cannabis was already voted in by residents with a 58 percent majority vote on November 8, 2018, Governor Baker has delayed opening cannabis shops until mid-2018. This has left many people asking, “Why the delay on opening marijuana shops?”
Oddly, the ballot initiative to pass legal marijuana use in Massachusetts was set to open pot shops as early as December 15, allowing anyone 21 years and older to not only possess marijuana, but also to use limited amounts of marijuana at home.
So, What’s With the Delay on Opening Marijuana Shops?!
When asked this question, spokeswoman Lizzy Guyton said that the Governor was, “committed to adhering to the will of the voters by implementing the new law as effectively and responsibly as possible.”
Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill in front of a group of marijuana activists protesting outside the Statehouse. A local resident, Rachel Ramone Donlan said that she and the other protesters were, “100 percent outraged” that a small group of lawmakers had undone the will of the people. So, what is causing this issue? And why the delay on opening marijuana shops?
Here are just 4 possible reasons for this delay on opening marijuana shops:
- Gray Area. In order to safely implement the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, government officials must now handle the “gray area” of the law. And it may take a little time…Cannabis activists Rachel Ramone Donlan said that this gray area is very confusing to people because they are in fear of being arrested. This gray area includes a time frame that it is legal to possess marijuana at home and grow up to 12 plants, but you can’t buy it. Hmmmm… weird.
- Long To-Do Lists. Governor Baker, a Republican who initially opposed the ballot question has responded to the many people asking why the hold up, by expressing that in order to get the new legalization of marijuana up-and-running in Massachusetts, there is a lengthy “to-do” list associated with it. So, the patience of pot supporters is greatly appreciated.MA wants to roll one up. Why the delay?
- Cannabis Control Commission. If you are someone who would rather try the new hybrid strains at your local pot shop than worry about the law, you aren’t alone! However, here is something you may not realize about the delay on opening marijuana shops: the government currently has not appointed a Cannabis Control Commission. That means that there is NO regulating body to accept applications for retail marijuana outlets. And that means (you guessed it) no marijuana shops. Governor Charlie Baker’s new bill pushes off this measure from the original deadline for another six months.
- A Lack of Supporting Research. As a schedule I drug, marijuana has not been subject to research over the years in the United States. That means that scientists have almost no supporting evidence of marijuana’s efficacious use as a medicine. Additionally, there is very little data on the effects of prolonged usage by humans.
So, for the 58% of Massachusetts residents wondering will stores open up anytime soon, as the gray area continues. Government agencies are working hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of legal cannabis use. So, just hang tight!