Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that she’s extending the deadline for cities to continue banning recreational marijuana without input from residents. While the state will legalize marijuana on July 1st, Healy’s office gave cities the ability to institute temporary moratoriums on marijuana sales until the end of December in order to figure out what regulations they wanted to put in place. That deadline has now been extended until the end of June 2019.
There were two ways towns or cities could ban marijuana sales under the Massachusetts ballot initiative. If the majority residents of the town voted in favor of the initiative, then the city needed to hold a vote among the people on whether or not to ban cannabis sales. But if the majority of residents voted against the initiative, then the town’s government could institute a ban without holding a vote.
Healy’s extended deadline means that towns that instituted temporary bans on cannabis sales before they hold a public vote will be able to continue those bans for another six months. That means they’ll get another six months where they won’t have to hold a public vote, and continue disregarding the will of voters.