ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WJAR) — Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana in 2016 and pot sales were supposed to begin July 1, 2018.
But that’s not going to happen.
“The CCC, the Cannabis Control Commission, is still coming up with their guidelines,” Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux told NBC 10 News Friday.
Heroux is looking forward to their decision because three percent of any pot sales in the city will go to the municipality.
“We estimate that’s going to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” Heroux said, adding that he hopes sales will begin before the year is out.
Rhode Island has legal medical marijuana. Efforts to legalize recreational use have stalled and a legislative commission was formed to make recommendations based on the experiences of Washington and Colorado, where pot is legal.
But that commission has not in 2018, and is, according to chairman Sen. Josh Miller, “at an impasse based on the Senate insistence on allowing public comment.”
The medical marijuana business is receiving the focus of the Raimondo administration, which wishes to increase the number of compassion centers where the medicine is sold to card carrying marijuana patients.
Norman Birenbaum is the point man for the Gov. Gina Raimondo on medical marijuana.
“The three compassion centers that we have now, the legislature established when we had less than 2,000 patients in the state,” Birenbaum said. “Now, we have close to 20,000 patients and still have only three compassion centers.”
It means that many patients are going to their own providers.
“Any medicine that’s grown by a patient or a caregiver in this state is not subject to our labelling, our packaging, our testing requirement, to make sure it’s as safe and consistent as possible,” Birenbaum said.
The governor has proposed increasing the number of compassion centers to absorb the excess production of caregivers and try to get more cannabis into the legal marketplace, but only for medical patients.