Maura Healey gives communities more time to plan for pot businesses

BOSTON (AP) — Backers of the state’s recreational marijuana law are calling a decision by Attorney General Maura Healey a major setback for the cannabis industry in Massachusetts that has already seen lengthy delays.

The Boston Globe reports that Healey has decided to extend the time that cities and towns can prohibit retail marijuana operations without approval from voters.

Healey, a Democrat who opposed the 2016 ballot question that legalized adult use of recreational marijuana, approved the town of Mansfield’s request to extend a temporary moratorium on pot businesses from Dec. 31 to June 2019.

Healey says communities deserve more time to establish zoning rules for cannabis.

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The Massachusetts spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, Jim Borghesani, says the only people who will benefit from the attorney general’s ruling are illegal marijuana dealers.

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