Published: Nov 13, 2017, 11:05 am • Updated: Nov 13, 2017, 11:18 am
LOWELL, Mass. — Although retail sales of recreational marijuana can begin in July, many customers across northern Massachusetts may have to travel significant distances or wait several months to acquire the substance.
Moratoriums are becoming widespread, with many towns opting to block any recreational marijuana businesses into late 2018 as a way to buy time for developing zoning and regulation plans. Some, as allowed under the state law legalizing the drug, have opted instead for outright, permanent bans on the businesses.
As a result, only a handful of towns in northern Massachusetts will be able to join the initial wave of recreational sales, a trend that legal marijuana advocates say could have lasting economic repercussions.
Last November, voters across the state approved Question 4, legalizing recreational marijuana, before the Legislature approved some changes regarding local control to the law. The state Cannabis Control Commission is expected to issue regulations in March and allow sales to begin in July.