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Massachusetts' Governor Is Determined to Keep Recreational Pot Dispensaries Closed Due to Coronavirus

By Eric Volkman – Apr 2, 2020 at 7:02AM

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Unlike other governors, Charlie Baker does not consider this form of the drug to be "essential" at present.

It seems that recreational marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts will remain shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. The state's governor, Charlie Baker, has emphatically stated that their shutdown, part of a broader set of measures by the state to temporarily close nonessential businesses, would remain in effect.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Baker said, "There is tons of evidence that because Massachusetts is one of the few states in the Northeast that's legalized recreational marijuana, that if we make recreational marijuana available as an essential business ... we are going to have to deal with the fact that people are going to come here from all over the place, across the Northeast, and create issues for us with respect to the fundamental issue we are trying to solve for here, which is to stop the spread [of the coronavirus]."

Numerous advocates for the drug and the state's cannabis commissioner, Shaleen Title, have pushed for recreational weed to be included on the list of essential businesses. Baker, however, said the idea was "a nonstarter" for the state.

Generic marijuana dispensary sign.

Image source: Getty Images.

Other states that have legalized recreational cannabis (California and Illinois being prime examples) have included this form of the drug in their lists of allowable commerce.

Although recreational-marijuana business cannot be transacted in Massachusetts at present, the sale of medical marijuana is permitted.

The continued ban on the recreational product in the state will have some impact on marijuana companies that actively sell it there. One company worthy of note is Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF 33.12%), which sells recreational marijuana in two dispensaries in the state. Curaleaf hasn't yet made any public statement about the continued Massachusetts recreational-marijuana shutdown. 

On Wednesday, Curaleaf stock fell harder than the major stock indexes, plummeting by over 11%.


Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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