Mashpee Selectmen Delay Possible Action Limiting Pot Shops

MASHPEE – Selectmen in Mashpee are delaying any Town Meeting action which would limit recreational marijuana shops in town until the fall.

The board was close to putting the issue before voters but the town’s legal counsel said the new law was ambiguous and there was no harm in waiting.

“We decided to hold off based on a conversation we had with our town counsel who pointed out some rather vague and often times conflicting elements of the existing law which made it a little bit difficult to figure out exactly what the right way to put the question before the voters was,” said Selectman Andrew Gottlieb.

The town can wait to push the issue back to the fall Town Meeting because the state’s Cannabis Control Commission cannot approve any permits for recreational marijuana shops until April 1, 2018.

The Legislature voted in December to delay key provisions of the new law by 6 months which would not allow pot shops to open until July of 2018.

“It seems very apparent that the Legislature is going to modify the law in some fashion and we ultimately decided to put it off until our fall town meeting,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb said there should be more clarity by that time about what exactly the rules are going to be and that it didn’t make sense to put it before voters in spring just to go back in the fall if changes were made to the law.

“We clearly lost nothing in terms of our ability under the current statute to regulate any retail distribution of marijuana by waiting until our October meeting,” Gottlieb said.

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