On Election Night 2016 voters in the state of Massachusetts approved marijuana legalization for everyone 21 years of age and older. Question 4 won by an overwhelming margin, despite heavy political opposition within the state. Its passage legalized possession, sales and home growing of cannabis; possession and growing are now officially legal in MA but it looks like sales will have to wait until the summer of 2018.
This is bad news for those who want to sell cannabis legally, but for other businesses, the boon of legalization has already started. With the growing of up to 6 plants per person (12 plants per household) now legal and with nowhere but the black market to buy marijuana as of yet, many people are looking into the equipment and knowledge necessary to grow their own marijuana at home.
While many seek information and growing equipment online, there are a lot of people who still like to do it the “old-fashioned” way: go to a store and talk to a human being face-to-face about what they need and how they should use it. That’s why a lot of companies in Massachusetts that sell the tools needed for growing are seeing an increased interest in their wares, mainly focused around the growing of cannabis.
“People have been arriving, frankly, from all crazy walks of life that I’ve never seen before,” said Aaron Voog, the owner of Harvest Moon Hydroponics, a grow equipment business that has been around for a decade in Foxborough, MA. Voog says sometimes up to 10 people a day come in asking about cannabis growing equipment, even though his store specializes in growing flowers and vegetables.
“It’s been interesting,” Voog said about the new world his shop now resides in.
While the delay in the opening of retail shops in MA is certainly disconcerting – as well as unnecessary – the legality of growing is a silver lining in a dark cloud of waiting, as is the fact that someone possessing an ounce of cannabis is no longer the business of law enforcement.
Of course, not everyone has the green thumb, nor the green money, to set up a successful grow in their home. Many of those people are going to be buying from the black market for the next 18 months – which is not ideal, but it is the reality. It would be much better for retail shops to open as soon as possible, creating legal jobs for people who need them and creating a legal supply of cannabis for those who consume it.
But, as is often said: government doesn’t work quickly, but something is better than nothing.