Massachusetts On Dec.

Governor Paul LePage, who opposed legalization, said he would order the state’s Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to hold off on formulating rules to govern the sale of the drug until the state’s legislature approved new funding. A measure approved by state lawmakers last week delayed the retail sales of the drug until February 2018. “The executive branch must be provided with the resources necessary to implement this new law,” LePage said in a statement. Massachusetts on Dec. 15 became the first state in the densely populated U.S. Northeast to legalize recreational marijuana use, also the result of a Nov. 8 ballot initiative. Lawmakers there delayed until July 1, 2018 the legal sale the drug, leaving state residents in a gray area where they can use but not legally buy marijuana. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law but is now legal in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California and Alaska, as well as Maine, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The Maine state senate on Monday named five members, three Republicans and two Democrats, to a committee charged with developing laws related to marijuana. Legalization advocates called on the governor and legislature to act quickly to clear the way for legal sales.

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