The rewriting of the Massachusetts recreational marijuana law might be a two-step process. This week, the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy announced that it may split its legislative recommendations across two separate bills so the legislature can tackle the most pressing issues without further delay. As Senate President Stanley Rosenberg explained, priority items (i.e., establishing the agencies and a regulatory structure) must be resolved as soon as possible. Less time-sensitive issues, which make up the bulk of the rewrite, may have to wait until later.
At this point, we can expect the Committee to unveil at least some new legislation before the end of June. The looming question is governance. Will recreational marijuana remain under the control of Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, as established by the ballot law, or will it be foolishly handed off to some independent commission? Or maybe “something in between,” according to Rosenberg, who said the Committee is “noodling through a number of options” and just wants to “get it right.”