Massachusetts voters said Yes on Question 4 last year and passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana and regulating it like alcohol. Regulation and sales will be coming by the summer of 2018 putting the pressure on lawmakers to finish regulating the entire industry properly before it can begin. Legal marijuana is a great source of tax revenue awaiting to benefit the state and local governments, but some are worried about people being allowed to grow too much at home. When passed, the recreational referendum had the support of 54% of the state, but any cities wishing to opt out of retail marijuana sales would be able to with a majority vote in a community.
State officials say this new industry could yield up to $1.3 billion in revenue once legal pot gets up and running. That’s a big jackpot, but before they can cash in on it, they have to sort out a big regulatory mess.
For the advocates, the intrusion of pols and bureaucrats is worrisome. “The citizens did pass a legalization of marijuana, and we’re just concerned that they don’t regulate it to death,” said Kathryn Rifkin, a legal-pot advocate.