Recreational Marijuana Supporters Call Attorney General Maura Healey's Decision a 'Setback' - NBC10 Boston

Recreational Marijuana Supporters Call Attorney General Maura Healey's Decision a 'Setback'

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Recreational Marijuana Supporters Call Attorney General Maura Healey's Decision a 'Setback'
    Getty Images

    Backers of the state's recreational marijuana law are calling a decision by Attorney General Maura Healey a major setback for the cannabis industry in Massachusetts, which has already experienced delays getting off the ground.

    In a reversal of previous policy, Healey has decided to extend the time that cities and towns can prohibit retail marijuana operations without approval from voters, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

    Healey, a Democrat who opposed the 2016 ballot question that legalized adult use of recreational marijuana, approved the town of Mansfield's request to extend a temporary moratorium on pot businesses from Dec. 31 to next June.

    The decision could allow other cities and towns to seek permission to extend moratoriums that were set to expire while local officials create zoning requirements for the businesses.

    Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Violence Escalates

    [NATL] Hong Kong Leader Says No Compromise as Protest Violence Escalates

    Hong Kong’s government is refusing to compromise after one pro-democracy protester was shot and another set on fire in a rare weekday protest. The five-month protest has seen a steady rise in violence, with both pro-democracy protesters and the Hong Kong government refusing to give ground.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)

    "Certain communities have expressed a need for some additional time to address implementation of recreational marijuana licensing, sales, and facilities," said Margaret Quackenbush, a spokeswoman for Healey, in a statement to the Globe. "Given ongoing regulatory activity by the Cannabis Control Commission, such temporary local moratoriums are consistent with state law."

    The five-member commission has so far been able to award only a single commercial license for a marijuana business - for a cultivation facility in Milford. Though the state had targeted July 1 for the opening of the state's pot shops, no retail licenses have been granted so far in part because of delays in zoning and permitting by cities and towns.

    Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, called Healey's ruling a "devastating setback" for legalization, and said there was no justification for giving local communities more time to zone for cannabis.

    "The only people who will benefit from Maura Healey's ruling are the criminals who have controlled cannabis sales for decades," said Borghesani.

    The state Legislature revised the voter-approved law to require a vote by residents before a city and town can ban marijuana businesses, if a majority of the community favored the 2016 ballot question. But a referendum is not needed for temporary moratoriums.

    The Massachusetts Municipal Association said Healey's ruling was appropriate because many towns would not be in a position to approve zoning rules until the spring, when their next town meetings are scheduled.

    Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower Identity Not Relevant

    [NATL] Ivanka Trump: Whistleblower Identity Not Relevant

    Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump told The Associated Press that the whistleblower's identity is "not particularly relevant." She also criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, saying that he made money after public service.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 8, 2019)

    Get the latest from NBC Boston anywhere, anytime:

    App

    Download our FREE app for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.