marijuana

Mass. State Treasurer Deb Goldberg testifying before the legislature's Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, on March 20, 2017.
Sam Doran / State House News Service

All but two of the 15 people appointed to advise marijuana regulators in Massachusetts reside in cities and towns that favored the legalization of recreational pot.

A jar of marijuana buds for sale inside the River Rock dispensary in Denver.
Steve Brown / WBUR

Massachusetts regulators are now preparing the state for retail sales of marijuana. Governor Charlie Baker last week signed a bill into law making changes to the voter-approved measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use. 

More than eight months after adult recreational use marijuana was approved by Massachusetts voters, a group of state lawmakers has reached a compromise bill making changes to the law, setting the stage for the opening of retail cannabis shops on July 1 of next year.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Dave Roback / The Republican

It's going to be a busy week on Beacon Hill as Massachusetts lawmakers try to find common ground on some tough topics. The state's fiscal year ends Friday and there's no budget agreement yet. Also, the legislature is aiming to get a recreational marijuana law on the governor's desk this week. But big differences remain between the House and Senate bills, both of which make changes to the voter-passed marijuana law.

A home setup for growing marijuana.
Zoboar / Creative Commons

The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday is debating a proposal to raise the tax on retail marijuana sales to 28 percent.

Lawmakers opposed to the increase said it could push buyers to the black market. However, a steep tax could also help stores that sell supplies for growing marijuana at home.

"People are not going to want to spend that kind of money when they can grow it themselves for cheaper," said Ian Back, who works at Here We Grow in Hadley.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House had planned to vote last week on a bill making substantial changes to the voter-passed recreational marijuana law. But after quick objections to the bill -- and an issue with how it was written -- Speaker Bob Deleo delayed that vote.

Varieties of marijuana.
File photo / The Republican

The Massachusetts House has delayed a vote scheduled for Thursday on changes to the state’s marijuana law. There were problems with the bill's language and plenty of criticism of some of the proposed changes to what voters okayed last year.

The ballot question law has not been fully implemented, but possession of small amounts of pot has been legal for adults since mid-December. Police across Western Massachusetts tell us that -- so far -- little has changed.

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

A Massachusetts legislative committee charged with recommending changes to the state's marijuana law holds its final public hearing in Boston Monday. And one of the state's U.S. senators is urging lawmakers to respect the will of the people.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was in favor of the ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana. She said she understands there are a few things that do need to be addressed by the legislature.

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

Our panel of journalists looks at the big stories in the news.

What made The Short List this week?

Marijuana activists celebrated outside the Mass. State House on Dec. 15, 2016, the first day pot became legal in the Bay State. Here, Ellen Brown holds a handful of pot.
Gintautas Dumcius / MassLive

Massachusetts lawmakers this week met in West Springfield to take testimony about marijuana.

Voters in Massachusetts approved the recreational use of the drug in November. The legislature and governor have already delayed parts of the law -- and they're posed to make more changes.

That's nothing new, according to Lawrence DiCara, a lawyer and former president of the Boston City Council, who wrote about this for CommonWealth magazine.

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