BOSTON (WWLP) – Recreational marijuana shops won’t open in Massachusetts until next year, but some towns are already banning pot shops, including East Longmeadow. Lawmakers are expecting more such votes.
Massachusetts voted to make Recreational marijuana legal last November. But cities and towns can limit or ban marijuana businesses from setting up shop through local referendums.
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East Longmeadow residents this week voted to prohibit commercial growing and selling of recreational pot in town. One big drawback: no revenue from sales.
Cities and towns can charge an optional 2 percent local tax on legal pot sales.
“They’re missing out on revenue for their towns, but also on the jobs and businesses that it would bring to the town,” Peter Bernard, Executive Director of Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council, told 22News.
“I’m sure a lot of them will see the revenue and the potential revenue coming into their community, but they’re also looking at, that it’s a drug, that there’s a public safety issue and they have to weigh out what they believe is best for their community,” State Rep. Brian Ashe, (D) Longmeadow, told 22News.
Recreational pot shops won’t be licensed to open until July 2018.
People can still personally possess, grow and smoke pot in East Longmeadow, but they won’t be able to legally buy recreational marijuana within city limits.