August 27, 2017

Anti-marijuana towns to retail facilities, consumers: Your money is no good here

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Marijuana smokers excited about the new state law may find themselves traveling to find the nearest dispensary as more towns consider opting out of retail sales.

As Massachusetts communities consider whether to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries inside their borders, one thing is clear – those that say “no” could be leaving significant money on the table.

For supporters of the Question 4 ballot initiative that voters solidly supported in 2016, local prohibitions seem to make no sense. They also run counter to the will of that majority of voters, which favored recreational marijuana by nearly 54 percent.

In some communities, local government bodies have passed moratoriums on non-medical dispensaries or outright bans. In June, Southbridge voters said no to marijuana production, cultivation, manufacturing and retail. That was during a 19 percent turnout for a local election. In the 2016 state election, with a much higher turnout, 56 percent of Southbridge voters voted yes on Question 4.

It is that very contradiction that puzzles supporters of the law, who note that marijuana users who live in every Massachusetts community will effectively be contributing to the economies of the nearest towns that approve dispensaries.

That was a point that Worcester officials had in mind when they approved four medical marijuana sites. The sites could all transform into recreational marijuana facilities down the road, according to Jacob Sanders, coordinator of the city’s intergovernmental affairs and municipal initiatives.

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One thought on “Anti-marijuana towns to retail facilities, consumers: Your money is no good here

  1. If a town approves a dispensary, it does not necessarily mean income for the town. Users most likely will not buy from an approved safe dispensary that will be over taxed, the product will cost too much for some. And cause many to obtain the ‘unregulated’ cheaper less safe product, which could be problematic in many ways.