SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The state Attorney General has made a decision that helps pave the way for medical marijuana facilities.
Martha Coakley says that no city or town has the authority to ban a dispensary from opening.
The medical marijuana law was approved by voters in November, but it's wasn't without controversy.
In fact, after the law was passed, the Massachusetts communities of Wakefield, Reading and Melrose all put in place bylaws to ban a dispensary from opening.
But the Attorney General's Office has the final say when it comes to bylaws. Martha Coakley says that if one community can ban a dispensary, then it sets a precedent that all communities could do the same.
But even with the state having oversight on bylaws, they don't have control over zoning rules. So while a community may not be able to ban a dispensary completely, they still could regulate certain areas within the community.
Up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries can open across the state.
Health officials need to decide by May 1st how to best regulate them.
Over the past month, they've held public listening sessions to help them in the process.
The medical marijuana could be prescribed by a doctor to patients with debilitating illnesses like cancer, Parkinson's disease, and AIDS.