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Baker Plans to Support Recreational Marijuana Delay

Greg Desrosiers/TSM
Greg Desrosiers/TSM

FALL RIVER – Governor Charlie Baker acknowledged that he will likely support a measure by the state legislature to delay the opening of recreational marijuana shops Thursday during a visit to Fall River. 

Legislators passed a bill Wednesday to delay the first shops from open six months later than expected, meaning sometime in July 2018.

Baker, a longtime opponent of recreational marijuana, said the delay is fitting based on the circumstances.

“I’m actually not surprised,” said Baker. “A six-month delay seems like it would be consistent with some of the concerns the treasurer raised and would also fit, to some extent, with a lot of the advice we got from the people in Colorado.”

Issues that he says need to be looked at closer include tax rates for products, potential effect on public health and general oversight out of the Treasurer’s Office.

Despite his personal feelings on the matter, Baker acknowledged it is what the voters wanted.

“I do think it’s important that [the legislature] and [Governor’s Office] work collaboratively and quickly to make sure it’s just a six-month delay and that all the pieces associated with this get implemented accordingly,” Baker said.

The bill was passed onto the governor’s desk Wednesday, and he said he plans to sign it.

Baker was visiting Fall River to meet with local elected officials and take a tour of the Bristol County Children’s Advocacy Center.

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