John Basile [email protected] @jbasileRegister
Cape Cod’s advocates for legalized marijuana are keeping a close watch on the the state’s new Cannabis Control Commission as it begins to hold public meetings.
Richard Elrick, a former Barnstable town councilor and a leader of the local effort to pass Question 4 on last November’s ballot, says it “sends a negative signal” that the majority of members of the cannabis commission opposed the ballot question that 54 percent of Massachusetts voters supported.
Elrick says he and others who backed the ballot question that legalized the sale and private use of marijuana only want to see the drug regulated the same way the state regulates alcohol.
“It’s not that complicated,” Elrick said, noting that under the law, the number of retail shops selling marijuana will be no more than 20 percent of the number of stores with all-alcohol licenses. In Barnstable, there are 14 all-alcohol stores (and others that sell only beer and wine) so there would be no more than three stores allowed to sell marijuana.
Elrick says he will urge Barnstable town councilors not to ban marijuana retail stores altogether. Under a new state law, communities in which Question 4 was defeated can ban the sale of marijuana.
Six of 13 precincts in Barnstable voted yes on Question 4. “Over 12,000 Barnstable residents voted yes,” Elrick said.
Dennis selectmen have voted to ban marijuana retail sales. Yarmouth selectmen have voted for a moratorium on retail sales with final action at a later date. Voters in both towns rejected Question 4.
At the Cannabis Control Commission’s first meeting this week, members were asked if they had ever used marijuana. Two members said they used it while in college, and two members would not say if they ever used it.
Steven Hoffman, chairman of the