Feds will limit marijuana enforcement in Massachusetts

  • A visitor examines a marijuana sample at the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston, March 25, 2018. AP PHOTO/Steven Senne

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

BOSTON — The top federal prosecutor for Massachusetts says he’ll focus his marijuana enforcement on overproduction, targeted sales to minors and organized crime.

Massachusetts has legalized recreational use, but distribution remains a federal crime. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is cautioning that he won’t “immunize” state residents from federal enforcement.

Even so, Lelling reiterated Tuesday that fighting the opioid addiction scourge remains his priority because it’s still claiming thousands of lives in the commonwealth each year.

Lelling says overproduction by licensed growers runs the risk of leading to illicit sales in neighboring states, so his office will be monitoring that closely.

He says sales to minors and the involvement of gangs such as MS-13 in the marijuana trade also will be policed.

Regulators issued Massachusetts’ first pot retailing license last week.