Massachusetts Legalization Poised to Take Effect Next Week

Published on December 9, 2016 · Last updated July 28, 2020

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ new adult-use marijuana law is on track to take effect next week after all.

Secretary of State William Galvin’s office is ready to deliver the results of the Nov. 8 ballot question to the Governor’s Council for certification Wednesday, Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff said Friday. The law would take effect the following day, Dec. 15, as specified in the law.

Voter approval of the ballot measure was never in question, but Galvin had expressed doubts about whether his office could complete the official tally in time for the weekly council meeting. That would have meant a delay of a week or more for the marijuana law to take effect.

Galvin said his office was required to give preference to the elections for president and U.S. Congress before it could turn its efforts to the four ballot questions Massachusetts voters decided.

The new law would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside their homes and up to 10 ounces in their homes and to grow up to a dozen cannabis plants per household.

Retail sales of the drug are still more than a year away. The state must first create a Cannabis Control Commission to regulate and license retail cannabis shops.

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