“The illicit market is still going to be there, so they’re really just sticking their heads in the sand,” said Maggie Kinsella, spokeswoman for The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, a cannabis advocacy group based in Reading. “They’re not keeping it out of their towns. They’re just keeping legal stores out. People are still going to go to the next town over.”
At least 142 cities and towns have also hit the pause button and approved moratoriums, allowable under state law. The moratoriums are temporary, meaning future sales are possible and even likely. For towns where the local electorate approved the referendum in 2016, implementing a full ban would require a new ballot vote, which is time consuming and potentially costly.