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    Is your town considering restrictions on recreational pot sales?

    Medical marijuana, a pipe, rolling papers and two joints in Belfast, Maine.
    Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press
    Medical marijuana, a pipe, rolling papers, and two joints in Belfast, Maine.

    (Note: This story was updated the latest information on July 6.)

    At least 153 cities and towns across Massachusetts are considering — or at least have considered recently — restrictions on the sale of recreational marijuana.

    The restrictions vary: From delaying when retail pot shops can open, to prohibiting them in certain areas, to banning them altogether, according to a review of recent news coverage as well as documents posted on municipal websites.

    So far, at least 29 of the 153 communities have approved outright bans, another 70 municipalities have approved a moratorium (or temporary ban), and four others have approved rules limiting where shops can open.


    Meanwhile, in at least five communities, proposals to enact a moratorium were turned down recently.

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    Many other municipal governments plan to decide on potential restrictions at town meetings or other public hearings in the coming months.

    And at least two additional communities have not formally proposed any restrictions, but have established committees to explore how to address the looming issue of retail recreational marijuana.

    The restrictions that have been proposed and implemented so far have largely been in surburban communities, which has upset city leaders, including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who worry urban areas will be overwhelmed by marijuana shoppers, the Boston Herald has reported.

    In November, nearly 1.8 million Massachusetts voters, about 54 percent who cast a ballot, legalized recreational marijuana.


    Growing, buying, possessing, and using limited quantities of the drug became legal statewide in December. Retail sales are due to begin in mid-2018.

    Despite the statewide results, majorities of voters in 91 communities opposed legalization. And among those who voted to legalize recreational use of the drug, some may oppose marijuana shops opening in their communities.

    The law gives cities and towns several options to push back, including by restricting where retail shops can open or banning them altogether.

    Municipal leaders have expressed concern that state law doesn’t make clear what process that cities and towns must follow to ban or restrict marijuana sales in their communities.

    A bill filed with the Legislature seeks to end such confusion, the State House News Service reported recently.


    (Note: Due to the large number of communities currently considering restrictions on marijuana commerce, the information below may be incomplete or out of date.)

    Town Action considered Approved Vote on Question 4
    Abington Moratorium Moratorium For
    Agawam Moratorium - Against
    Amesbury Recreational Marijuana Committee - For
    Amherst Zoning restrictions - For
    Andover Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Arlington Moratorium Moratorium For
    Ashby Moratorium Moratorium For
    Ashland Ban; moratorium Moratorium For
    Auburn Ban Ban For
    Barnstable Moratorium - Against
    Barre Moratorium Moratorium For
    Belmont Moratorium Moratorium For
    Berlin Moratorium - For
    Beverly Moratorium Moratorium For
    Billerica Moratorium - For
    Bolton Moratorium Moratorium For
    Bourne Ban Moratorium Against
    Boxborough Moratorium Moratorium For
    Boxford Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Braintree Ban; moratorium - Against
    Bridgewater forming committee to study - Against
    Brookline Moratorium - For
    Burlington Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Canton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Carver Moratorium Moratorium For
    Charlton Ban - For
    Chicopee Moratorium - For
    Clarksburg Moratorium - For
    Cohasset Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Dalton Moratorium Moratorium For
    Danvers Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Dedham Moratorium Moratorium For
    Dennis Ban Ban Against
    Douglas Moratorium Moratorium For
    Dudley Moratorium Moratorium For
    East Bridgewater Ban Ban For
    East Brookfield Ban Ban For
    East Longmeadow Ban Ban Against
    Easton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Egremont Moratorium Moratorium For
    Essex Moratorium - For
    Fairhaven Moratorium Moratorium For
    Falmouth Ban Ban Against
    Fitchburg Moratorium - For
    Foxborough Ban Ban Against
    Framingham Moratorium; zoning restrictions - For
    Franklin Zoning restrictions Zoning restrictions For
    Georgetown Moratorium - For
    Gloucester Zoning restrictions - For
    Grafton Moratorium Moratorium For
    Greenfield Moratorium Moratorium For
    Hadley Moratorium Moratorium For
    Halifax Zoning restrictions Zoning restrictions For
    Hamilton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Hanover Moratorium - Against
    Hanson Moratorium Failed to approve moratorium For
    Harvard Moratorium Failed to approve moratorium For
    Harwich Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Hingham Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Holbrook Moratorium Moratorium For
    Holden Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Holliston Ban - For
    Holyoke Moratorium Moratorium For
    Hopkinton Ban Ban Against
    Hull Moratorium Moratorium For
    Ipswich Moratorium Moratorium For
    Kingston Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Lee Moratorium Moratorium For
    Lenox Moratorium Moratorium For
    Leominster Moratorium Failed to approve moratorium For
    Lexington Ban; moratorium - Against
    Lincoln Moratorium Moratorium For
    Littleton Moratorium Moratorium For
    Ludlow Moratorium - Against
    Lunenburg Moratorium Moratorium For
    Lynnfield Ban Ban Against
    Malden Ban; moratorium; zoning restrictions - For
    Mansfield Moratorium Moratorium For
    Marlborough Moratorium - For
    Mashpee Ban, cap on licenses, other rules - Against
    Mattapoisett Moratorium - Against
    Medfield Ban Ban Against
    Medway Ban Ban For
    Melrose Moratorium - For
    Merrimac Moratorium - For
    Methuen Ban - Against
    Middleton Ban Ban Against
    Milford Zoning restrictions - For
    Millbury Moratorium Moratorium For
    Milton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Nantucket Zoning restrictions - For
    Needham Moratorium Moratorium Against
    New Bedford Moratorium - For
    North Andover Moratorium Moratorium Against
    North Reading Ban Ban Against
    Northborough Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Northbridge Moratorium Moratorium For
    Norwell Ban Ban Against
    Norwood Ban Ban Against
    Orleans Ban; moratorium Moratorium Against
    Paxton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Peabody Ban - Against
    Pembroke Ban Ban Against
    Plainville Moratorium Moratorium For
    Plymouth Ban - For
    Raynham Ban Ban Against
    Reading Ban Ban Against
    Rehoboth Moratorium Moratorium For
    Revere Zoning restrictions Zoning restrictions Against
    Rochester Moratorium - For
    Rutland Moratorium - Against
    Sandwich Ban Ban Against
    Scituate Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Shelburne Moratorium - For
    Sherborn Ban Ban Against
    Shrewsbury Moratorium Moratorium Against
    South Hadley Moratorium Moratorium For
    Southborough Ban Ban Against
    Southbridge Moratorium - For
    Southwick Moratorium Moratorium For
    Spencer Ban Ban For
    Springfield Moratorium Moratorium For
    Sterling Ban; moratorium Moratorium Against
    Stoneham Moratorium - Against
    Stoughton Ban Ban For
    Stow Moratorium Moratorium For
    Sturbridge Ban; moratorium Ban For
    Sudbury Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Sutton Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Taunton Moratorium - For
    Tewksbury Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Topsfield Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Wakefield Ban Ban Against
    Walpole Ban - Against
    Ware Moratorium Failed to approve moratorium For
    Wareham Moratorium Moratorium For
    Wayland Moratorium Failed to approve moratorium For
    Webster Moratorium - For
    Wellesley Moratorium Moratorium Against
    West Bridgewater Moratorium Moratorium Against
    West Springfield Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Westborough Ban Ban Against
    Weston Ban Ban Against
    Westport Moratorium Moratorium For
    Westwood Ban Ban Against
    Weymouth Ban; moratorium - Against
    Whitman Moratorium - For
    Wilbraham Ban Ban Against
    Williamstown Ban; zoning restrictions Zoning restrictions For
    Wilmington Moratorium Moratorium Against
    Winchester Moratorium - Against
    Winthrop Moratorium - For
    Woburn Ban - Against
    Worcester Ban; moratorium; cap on licenses; zoning restrictions - For
    Yarmouth Moratorium Moratorium Against
    SOURCE: Globe review of recent news coverage; Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mrochele