Recreational Marijuana

Regional Planning Agency – Recreational Marijuana Working Group

In June, representatives from the states 13 Regional Planning Agencies agreed to form an informal RPA working group is to allow for the efficient and timely sharing of information through coordination of key staff members.  The objective is to facilitate a framework for the 13 RPA’s to share and host information for member communities related to the efficient and full implantation of the new (now revised) marijuana law, and to:

  • Increase efficiency by establishing an information sharing plan amongst the RPA’s and member communities.
  • Provide more comprehensive technical assistance through providing updated information and, ultimately, the preparation of model bylaws for use by member communities.
  • Reduce the amount of repetition amongst municipalities; many towns will face similar questions and create similar paths and providing information quickly to member communities can reduce help redundancy.
  • Foster a partnership with other municipal groups, such as the Mass Municipal Association and Mass Municipal Lawyers Association.

This page will be updated frequently.  Please check back and please share this resource with anyone seeking information on the municipal implementation of the new Recreational Marijuana Law.


September 2017

Implementing the Revised Marijuana Statute – What Municipal Officials Need to Know Now.  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017, HOGAN CONFERENCE CENTER, HOLY CROSS COLLEGE, WORCESTER, MA. 

  • This program provides municipal and government attorneys and local officials, including administrators and planners, the latest information and resources in responding to the new recreational marijuana statute.

To view the KP Law updated guidance document (August 2017), click here.

To watch this very informative information session held on August  31, 2017 by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and presented by Attorney J. Raymond Miyares, click here. (if the link is not direct, type in “marijuana” in the search bar)

September 7, 2017 – Legal Marijuana: Municipal Options and Responsibilities workshop

  • Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield MA
  • Presenter: Margaret Hurley, Director, Municipal Law Division, Office of the Attorney General and Kat Allen, FRCOG Partnership for Youth and Communities That Care Coalition
  • To view or download the flyer, click here.


August 2017

To view the MMA’s update/overview article, dated August 22, 2017, click here.

To watch this very informative webinar hosted by Foley Hoag, LLP on August 17, 2017, click here.

To view the AG’s East Bridgewater, issued on August 14, 2017, click here.

The new law references medical marijuana treatment centers licensed or registered before July 1, 2017.  To view the Department of Health’s list of RMD application status, updated through August 4, 2017,  click here.

The new law references the vote of communities on Question 4 in November.  To view the official results (broken down by number of votes) from the Secretary of States office, click here.  To view the Secretary of State’s interactive website on the results by county and by municipality, click here.

To view the Municipal Law Unit (i.e. the “AG’s office”) decisions on temporary moratoriums and other bylaw reviews related to recreational marijuana, click here.

July 2017

H.3818 together with Voter approved language – The following document is the text of the compromise House Bill, No. 3818 incorporated into the voter approved “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act” language .  The purpose of this document is to allow municipalities to begin reviewing the entire new proposed legislation. To view the file, click here.

  • To review the House/Senate compromise bill, H. 3818 (dated July 17, 2017), click here.
  • To view a July 17, 2017 Boston Globe article summarizing the new bill, click here.
  • To view a July 31, 2017 MMA article: “Governor signs reworked recreational marijuana law”, click here.


June 2017

June 14, 2017 – Marijuana Policy Committee releases revisions to the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana law.

  • To view the Massachusetts House Proposed Marijuana Bill, click here.
  • To view the Massachusetts House Marijuana Proposal Outline, click here.
  • To view the June 14th MMA letter to House members, click here.
  • To review the Senate bill, S.2097 (dated June 22, 2017), click here.
  • To view the Mass Municipal Association letter to Conference Committee, dated June 26, 2017, click here.


May 2017

  • To view the CMRPC Legislative Affairs update, dated May 18, 2017, click here.


April 2017  – During late March and April, the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy held a series of public hearings to provide an “overview and discussion” of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Law.

  • To view the Joint Committee’s webpage and view the pending bills, click here.
  • To view the Mass Municipal Association’s April 27, 2017 summary of the hearings, click here.


March 2017

Temporary Moratorium Information

On March 13th, 2017, CMRPC invited Planners and Planning Board Members to an interactive forum as a follow up to the Recreational Marijuana Listening Session. The Focus of our conversation was how to prepare a Temporary Moratorium in your community.

Panelists included:

  • Joseph Laydon – Grafton Town Planner
  • Jennifer Hager – Sutton Planning Director
  • Gary Bechtholdt – Northbridge Town Planner
  • Bernard Cahill – Shrewsbury Town Planner

To watch a video of the event, click here.

  • To view the West Bridgewater December 14, 2016 Warrant, click here
  • To view the West Bridgewater Municipal Law Unit decision (8242). January 18, 2017, click here
  • To view the Shrewsbury March 16, 2017 draft warrant, click here
  • To view the Grafton January 31, 2017 draft warrant, click here
  • To view the Northbridge Panning Board public hearing notice and draft warrant from February 22, 2017, click here
  • To view the Northbridge process flow chart, click here
  • To view the KP law Model Moratorium Warrant Article language, click here
  • To view Mass Municipal Association written comments to the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, dated March 20, 2017, click here.
  • To watch the March 2017  video interview with the Governor discussing Recreational Marijuana, click here.
  • To view the March 2017 Town of Westborough Recreational Marijuana Ballot initiative and Town Meeting actions, click here.



  • On Friday, March 10, 2017, the MMLA held a seminar on “The New Marijuana Law – How Municipalities can (and should) Respond”

Please note that during the MMLA conference on March 10th, 2017, the director of the Municipal Law Unit confirmed that moratoriums extending to the end of December 2018 were reasonable based on the timeline and provisions in the new law.


February 2017

  • On February 14, 2017, the MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) and the Southwest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) held a joint educational forum about municipal planning for legalized recreational marijuana.

       Presentation by Jeffrey                        Presentation by Gregory,                        Bagg, CMRPC                                    Miao, Esq.;  MAPC           


  • To view an Attorney General decision on a Westborough bylaw related to both medical and recreational marijuana (note: this decision relates to zoning bylaw amendments made prior to December 15 2016, but contains some relevant information on the new law)click here.
  • To view the CMRPC Recreational Marijuana Update, dated February 3, 2017, click here.
  • To view the CMRPC letter to Senator Michael Moore, dated February 2, 2017, click here.


January 2017

  • To view the CMRPC “preliminary” Recreational Marijuana timeline, click here.
  • To view the *revised* KP Law guidance document, dated January 2017, click here.
  • To view the KP Law Model Ballot Question (prohibition) language, click here.
  • To view the Attorney General approval of West Bridgewater’s 18 month moratorium, click here.
  • To view The Regulation And Taxation Of Marijuana Act showing the EXTENSION dates, click here.


December 2016

After the passage of Question 4, many planners and town officials have begun to discuss how local communities will regulate retail sales of recreational marijuana. CMRPC hosted a “here’s what we know” information session for municipalities on Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 9:00 AM to noon. If you’d like to view the Power Point presentation, click here.

        Massachusetts 2016 Ballot Questions Cover

To view video from the December 15th Information and Listening Session, click here

  • To view the December 14, 2016 memo from Daniel Bennett, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, click here.
  • To view the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB) December 11, 2016 memo, click here.


November 2016

  • To view the MMA’s November 2016 Letter to the Governor and Legislative Leaders, click here.
  • To listen to a November 10, 2016 NPR interview with State Treasurer Deb Goldberg on this program, please click here.
  • To view the MMLA’s Letter to the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House, click here.
  • To view the DPH’s list and “current status of all Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and Applicants”, please click here.


March 2016

  • To view the March 2016 Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana, click here.


For questions, please contact:

  1. Jeff Bagg
  2. Principal Planner/Project Manager
  3. Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC)
  5. 508-459-3342