Federal prosecutor in MA to keep eye on recreational cannabis production

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The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts indicated he will take a mostly hands-off approach to the state’s impending adult-use marijuana industry, narrowing his office’s focus to overproduction that could lead to sales across state lines.

“These out-of-state sales are nearly always cash transactions and so often involve federal tax fraud designed to hide the illicit cash or its true source,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told MassLive.com.

The approach mirrors one articulated recently by Oregon’s top federal prosecutor, Billy Williams, who expressed frustration with that state’s inability to rein in cannabis production and enforce regulations.

Oregon regulators have responded, in part, by suspending the processing of new rec MJ license applications.

Massachusetts voters passed a recreational MJ initiative in 2016, and the state targeted a July 1 launch.

But the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission only recently awarded the first cultivation and retail licenses, and it’s unclear when the adult-use program will get going.