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Recreational marijuana shops sue Gov. Baker over coronavirus shutdown

The lawsuit filed Wednesday asks the court to allow recreational pot shops to reopen.

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a briefing on the state's response to COVID-19. Sam Doran / Pool

BOSTON (AP) — A group of marijuana dispensaries have sued Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker over his decision to shutdown recreational pot operations in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday asks the court to allow recreational pot shops to reopen, saying the closure will cause serious harm to the industry.

The Republican governor says keeping the stores open would harm the state’s ability to control the spread of the virus because they draw many customers from other states where recreational marijuana remains illegal.

“Significant numbers of the customers who procure cannabis at recreational marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts are not from Massachusetts,” Baker said Wednesday. “Making those sites available to anybody from the northeast would cut completely against the entire strategy we’re trying to pursue.”

The Cannabis Control Commission said Tuesday that recreational marijuana suppliers can sell their products to medical cannabis dispensaries. The state has said medical marijuana sales are “essential” and may continue.

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