April 11, 2012

Voters Likely to Decide Fate of Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Bill in November Elections

Massachusetts MMJ news, medical marijuana industry updates, MMJ dispensary developments

Massachusetts residents may get the final say on medical marijuana after lawmakers failed to reach a consensus on the issue Tuesday.

Supporters of medical cannabis were hoping elected officials would pass a measure to legalize the drug on their own, averting the need to get the issue on the ballot.

But after three hours of debate at a hearing yesterday that included testimony from MMJ advocates and opponents, the state Legislature remained conflicted on medical marijuana. Concerns center on whether residents and even state employees could face federal prosecution, while some lawmakers are worried that marijuana could fall into the wrong hands due to lax rules.

Lawmakers technically have until the end of the month to approve the measure or come up with their own alternative. Given the concerns expressed at the hearing, however, that’s unlikely to happen, meaning that MMJ supporters must gather nearly 11,500 valid signatures by Independence Day to get the measure on the November ballot.

Under the plan, Massachusetts would allow patients with certain medical conditions to use marijuana with the permission of a doctor. The state would let up to three dozen nonprofit dispensaries set up shop to distribute cannabis.

The measure has a strong chance of passing if it’s put in front of voters. A recent poll found that 53% of respondents in Massachusetts support medical marijuana vs. just 35% who said they don’t. Massachusetts residents also voted several years ago to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, so they’re willing to back up their views at the ballot box.

Additionally, the medical marijuana issue doesn’t seem to draw the passionate responses from medical cannabis opponents seen in other states. The legislative hearing on the MMJ bill was “sparsely attended”  – indicating that it’s not overly controversial.


One Comment:

  1. Massachusetts is THE key state in New England; top schools, top hospitals, and a well-educated, weed-tolerant population that is seeing the flower for what it is; medicine and an economic opportunity.

Post Your Comment:


Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Denver MJ Growers Major Contributor to Rise in Energy Use

Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]

Alaska Governor Names 5 to Marijuana Control Board

Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]

New York Could Reveal MMJ License Winners Soon

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]

50+ Medical Cannabis Business Applications Filed in MA

The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]

Oregon Rec Rules Materializing, Early Sales Possible

Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]

Rand Paul Brings in Six Figures at MJ Industry Fundraiser

Rand_Paul_official_portrait_with_flag_edit

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]

Hawaii Bill Establishing Dispensaries Likely to Become Law

Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]

Second MMJ Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania Legislature

In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]

Fifth New Jersey Dispensary Given Green Light

New Jersey medical cannabis, pot dispensary and marijuana industry news

And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]

Louisiana Gov Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]

New York Cannabis Firm Buys Oregon Utility Building for $3M

In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]

WA Moves Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Tax Structure

cannabis taxes

Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]

Sole MMJ Dispensary Opens in Delaware

Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]

Canadian Cultivator Tilray to Lay Off 61 Employees

Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily