Massachusetts Legislation Would Sharply Curb Marijuana Law

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Senator Jason M. Lewis proposed legislation that would reduce the amount of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10 ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow from 12 per household to six per household.

The right of Massachusetts adults to possess and grow marijuana would be sharply curbed, and the ability of retail shops to begin selling it for recreational use next year would be deeply undercut if legislation filed Friday by a key state senator becomes law.

Senator Jason M. Lewis is proposing bills that would reduce the amount of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10 ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow from 12 per household to six per household. The current right of adults to possess and use marijuana wouldn’t be eliminated.

The bills would delay when retail marijuana stores — set to open in July 2018 — could sell popular infused products such as pot brownies, sodas, and massage oils by at least two years.

They would also allow regulators to permanently ban any marijuana products besides the unadulterated plant matter itself. Such products are hugely popular in states that have retail marijuana stores.

And the bills would exponentially increase the power of city and town governments to reject marijuana establishments, a measure many municipal officials have urged. (Currently, the law says that if they want to stop a particular type of establishment from coming to town — for example, cultivation facilities — they must go to the voters.

City and town officials also need to hold a referendum if they want to sharply limit the number of marijuana shops. If a city has 100 retail stores that sell alcohol, for example, it will need to go to voters if it wants fewer than 20 marijuana retailers.)

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