Hanover bans recreational marijuana sales

Hanover recently became the latest community to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana.

By overwhelming voice votes, a special Town Meeting Dec. 18 approved a general bylaw and a zoning bylaw that ban recreational marijuana businesses in town.

In addition to retail shops, the ban also encompasses any commercial facilities involved in cultivating, testing, or product manufacturing of recreational marijuana, according to Town Planner Peter Matchak.


The ban does not extend to medical marijuana; Hanover has an operating medical marijuana dispensary, Curaleaf, on Washington Street.

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The ban was a joint proposal of the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board.

Matchak said the two boards decided to offer the proposal in light of the fact that Hanover residents by the highest margin in the area -- 58.5 percent to 41.5 percent -- voted in opposition to Question 4, the 2016 state ballot question that legalized recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

“This is what voters asked for,” he said of the ban.

Since Hanover residents voted against Question 4, the town does not need to put the ban before voters in a ballot election. But as with all locally adopted bylaws, the two Hanson measures require approval by the state attorney general.

John Laidler can be reached at