Some cities, towns want to restrict commercial marijuana sales

For a town vote to be binding, it would have to be during the state election in 2018.

FILE-In this Friday, April 22, 2016 file photo, a marijuana bud is seen at a medical marijuana facility in Unity, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Marijuana may now be legal to possess in Massachusetts, but state lawmakers are still trying to figure out how it’ll be sold in the state.

Now, some cities and towns are trying to opt out of allowing pot shops in their communities.

Some are urging lawmakers to let them restrict or prohibit commercial marijuana sales within their borders by a vote of the municipal legislative body, rather than a community-wide referendum.

Continuing Coverage: Marijuana News

The marijuana ballot question passed by 54 percent, however in some cities and towns there were more voters who were against legalizing marijuana, that was the case here in West Springfield.

“It passed across the Commonwealth, it was close but it passed,” West Springfield Mayor Will Richelt said. “But, it didn’t pass here in West Springfield, and if that’s how the town voted, and if that’s what the general consensus is, to do an initiative petition and put in on the ballot, I think we should if that’s an option. To have a voice then and see what the community wants and at the same time to better understand what we’re voting on too.”

One resident told 22News voters already passed the law so he doesn’t believe communities should be able to restrict it.

“I don’t think they should restrict it,” Stephen Williams said. “I don’t think they should overload it in any one neighborhood or any one community, but I don’t think they should restrict it for political or financial reasons.”

As the law currently stands, and was approved by voters, in order to ban retail stores from a city or town there must be a community-wide referendum.

For a town vote to be binding, it would have to be during the state election in 2018.