Last month, we noted that a significant number of Massachusetts towns and cities were already enacting bans or temporary moratoria against recreational marijuana sales, even though it will be months before the first adult-use operators are even eligible to apply for licenses. Now the legislature may be doing something about that trend. Senate President Stanley Rosenburg (D.) said that lawmakers were considering whether there is a way to incentivize more communities to say ‘yes’ to marijuana retail stores. Rosenburg did not specify what those incentives would be, but told the Boston Herald that the government needed to ensure suburbs have enough to money to cover the ancillary costs of marijuana sales, like public health and public safety.
With so many communities looking to ban marijuana sales, the concern is that adult-use shops will become concentrated in certain cities like Boston. Mayor Marty Walsh in particular has encouraged the legislature to take steps to ensure that Boston does not become a pot capital, with people from across the Bay State flooding in to buy marijuana they cannot access locally.
Lawmakers will have to act fast. The deadline to put a bill on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk is July 1.