Marijuana regulations still undecided 6 months after legalization

Lawmakers still need to figure out how to sell pot, how edible products will be managed, and who will do the regulating

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, a marijuana joint is rolled in San Francisco. On Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics is highlighting warnings about marijuana's potential harms for teens amid increasingly lax laws and attitudes on pot use. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been 185 days since Massachusetts voters approved recreational use of marijuana, but there are still areas of uncertainty.

First: where it’s coming from. Adults can grow and smoke pot, but they won’t be able to legally buy it until retail stores open in 2018. John Trudeau of Russell says the glitch is causing people to find weed in any way they can. “Well it has to still happen on the black market, now,” says Trudeau. “People are just covering it up. Hopefully people will figure it out because it can actually make things really good with all of the money coming in.”

Number 2: edible products. Lawmakers have delayed creating definitive regulations on edibles, which can be more concentrated than smoking weed.

And third: the regulation themselves. The question of who will be in charge of overseeing the marijuana industry still hasn’t been decided.

“It’s very frustrating because I’m here trying to smoke pot freely, and I can’t because the law is taking it’s time,” says Jessenia Famania of Chicopee.

Dan Mihalak says the problems could’ve been solved with a better worded ballot 6 months ago. “I don’t think it was written clear enough. It should state much more professional realism.”

Lawmakers are delaying all of these answers. Back in January, Governor Baker said regulation changes should be made by April – they still haven’t been made. The Committee on Marijuana policy has promised to complete alterations to the ballot law by June. We’ll see how that pans out in another few weeks.

Lawmakers say they still intend to issue the first retail licenses by July of 2018.

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