A Brief Guide to Massachusetts’ New Cannabis Law

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sweeping cannabis bill into law on Friday, marking a milestone in a regulatory battle that began when state voters approved an adult-use legalization measure in November.

The new law, the result of a legislative compromise struck last week between the House and Senate, rewrites much of the voter-approved initiative—raising allowable tax rates, amending rules around local cannabis bans, and adjusting details of the agency that will oversee the state’s cannabis program.

Even as he signed the bill, Baker, a Republican, expressed doubts about legalization. He said he remains hopeful that the lawmakers’ changes would address some of his biggest concerns.

“I worry terribly about what the consequences over time will be, and having spent a lot of time talking to folks in Colorado and in Washington … there are a lot of pitfalls we have to avoid,” he said.

“But, look,” he continued,

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