Many Massachusetts farmers denied entry to recreational cannabis industry

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Though Massachusetts opened the permitting process for adult-use cannabis cultivation, a sizable business population that wants in has already been locked out: Local farmers in towns or counties that haven’t expressly allowed cannabis growing.

Because of a provision in state law that gives local authorities the power to opt out of the industry, that’s blocking plenty of farmers from jumping in, The Republican reported.

To date, 65 counties or towns in Massachusetts have banned marijuana companies entirely, while 161 have business moratoriums that typically last until the end of 2018.

Out of 120 communities looking at MJ cultivation zoning ordinances, 44 have approved them, according to The Republican.

But even in those cases, many allow for cannabis to be grown only in industrially zoned areas, while plenty of farmers are already established in regions zoned as residential.

And there are often requirements that marijuana be grown indoors instead of outside, meaning any farmer that wants to get into the business would have to pay to construct a greenhouse or warehouse.

Those factors are directly blocking a number of farmers from entering the industry, The Republican reported.