Financial snafu could slow Massachusetts’ rec cannabis rollout

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The delays continue in Massachusetts’ quest to start a recreational marijuana program.

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg was awarded $300,000 by the state legislature to staff a cannabis oversight agency, but the money was sent to a reserve account that Goldberg can’t access, the Boston Business Journal reported.

The governmental misstep may further stall implementation of the state’s recreational marijuana industry.

Goldberg’s first request for funding for the Cannabis Control Commission was for $500,000, but the legislature awarded the treasurer only $300,000 from the governor’s supplemental budget, according to the Business Journal.

The governor approved the funding Tuesday, but the $300,000 was moved to a reserve account in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, meaning Goldberg has no access to the money.

In a letter to that department asking that the money be transferred to her office, Goldberg wrote, “This funding is critical to the continued and timely implementation of (recreational marijuana),” the Business Journal reported.

Goldberg said the money is needed to hire an executive director as well as other staff for the Cannabis Control Commission, according to the newspaper.

The treasurer estimates the state eventually will have to shell out $10 million annually to regulate the recreational marijuana market, the Business Journal reported.