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Some Massachusetts Towns Are Overturning Marijuana Moratoriums

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Moratoriums and bans went up across the state of Massachusetts after voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana. But not all of those moratoriums and bans will remain in place. Towns and cities that once banned or implemented a moratorium are now changing their minds.

Votes have taken place in several areas opposing recreational marijuana and the benefits seem to outweigh potential drawbacks, WCVB 5 News reports.  The potential tax revenues and filtering out of the black market are positives that can’t be ignored.

Scott Winters of Amesbury said, “We got a lot of support from people who don’t use cannabis, but might want to someday. From users to non-users to just folks who want revenue for the city, we had a lot of support.”

Bans have also been reversed in Dracut, Marshfield and Brewster. A majority of the residents in Brewster and Marshfield opposed legal recreational marijuana on November ballots.

Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh is not a fan of recreational marijuana but has promised that Boston will accommodate the industry.

Just this year, 121 bans or moratoriums have been put in place across Massachusetts. What has led to some jurisdictions setting their bans aside is the increased local marijuana sales tax that can be charged – meaning that towns/cities that embrace recreational marijuana will be able to receive that tax.

Winchester is one area that has upheld its ban and will not receive funds from recreational marijuana sales. A ban on recreational marijuana businesses is in effect in Winchester. The ban may only be temporary.

The chairman of the Winchester Select Board, Michael Bettencourt said, “We were mostly concerned with the edibles, those getting into the hands of (children), and not being able to really have a plan of how to manage that.”

Winters’ hometown has implemented a ban, so he’ll have to go to another town to make his purchases. He’d love to purchase in his hometown – but would want high quality products to be available.

He said, “If we’re already used to getting some really killer, cool stuff, we’re not going to waste our time, and our money, on a crap product.”

Kamani Jefferson, founder of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, said, “Why would you drive two hours, or even one hour, if you can get it in five minutes?”

The banks may leave large portions of the state without a legal retail outlet. So, residents that don’t have access locally will still likely purchase from the black market.