By Eli ShermanGatehouse News Service
Although commercial sales of marijuana will be allowed beginning July 1, most Massachusetts residents will find it difficult to find a retail shop open for business that day.
That’s in part because, as of May 8, 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.
Westport town meeting voters recently reaffirmed the consensus of an April town election ballot question to ban the sale of recreational marijuana in town. Meanwhile, in Dartmouth, the Planning Board is drafting a recreational marijuana sales zoning bylaw ahead of the year-end expiration of its own moratorium.
“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