Haverhill, MA says no to medical pot, for now

MASSACHUSETTS: Haverhill is saying no to medical marijuana — at least until Oct. 1 at the soonest.

City Council passed the moratorium last night, banning medical marijuana dispensaries until that date. In the meantime, a committee appointed by Mayor James Fiorentini will determine where such a business should be located, should one try to open here.

The use of medical marijuana in Massachusetts was approved by 63 percent of voters in November. In Haverhill, 60 percent of voters supported the measure, which removed criminal and civil penalties for medical marijuana use for patients with certain conditions.

The new law provides for 35 nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centers throughout the state, with no more than five in each county. The centers may grow, process and provide marijuana to patients who have a prescription from a doctor. The centers would be overseen by the state Department of Public Health.

Similar to pornography stores and even specific kinds of businesses and housing developments, cities and towns can regulate where medical marijuana dispensaries can be located, but they cannot ban them.

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