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Martha’s Vineyard Is About To Run Out Of Pot

An 81-year-old woman on Martha’s Vineyard drove up to the Island Time dispensary last week seeking her usual order of pot. But owner Geoff Rose had to tell her the cupboard was bare — he’d been forced to temporarily close three weeks earlier after selling every last bud and gummy.

Unless something changes, the island’s only other cannabis dispensary will sell all its remaining supplies by September at the latest, and Martha’s Vineyard will run out of pot entirely, affecting more than 230 registered medical users and thousands more recreational ones.

The problem boils down to location. Although Massachusetts voters opted to legalize marijuana more than seven years ago, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission has taken the position that transporting pot across the ocean — whether by boat or plane — risks running afoul of federal laws. That’s despite a counterargument that there are routes to Martha’s Vineyard that remain entirely within state territorial waters.

The conundrum led Rose to file a lawsuit last month against the commission, which now says that finding a solution to the island’s pot problem has become a top priority. Three of the five commissioners visited Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday to hear directly from affected residents.

The tension between conflicting state and federal regulations has played out across the country as states have legalized pot. California law, for example, expressly allows cannabis to be transported to stores on Catalina Island, while Hawaii last year dealt with its own difficulties transporting medical marijuana between islands by amending a law to allow it.

Federal authorities have also been shifting their position. The Justice Department last month moved to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, though still not a legal one for recreational use.

Read full story at ABC News.

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