When does Massachusetts' marijuana law go into effect? These are the key dates to know.
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When does Massachusetts' marijuana law go into effect? These are the key dates to know.

For those who supported recreational marijuana consumption in Massachusetts in Tuesday's election, it may feel like Christmas is coming early this December.

On December 15, marijuana will become legal for use in Massachusetts, and marijuana shops will open in 2018, the Boston Globe reportedThe passage of Question 4 ends a century of prohibition, while paving the way for a thriving and profitable industry, according to the Globe.

The legalization campaign won with 53.6% of the vote. The ballot initiative earned staunch criticism from law enforcement officials and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who nevertheless said he would honor the will of the voters.

The measure will create a Cannabis Control Commission to regulate marijuana consumption and issue licenses to retailers and any other companies selling marijuana-based products. It will also legalize the possession of less than 10 ounces inside houses and one ounce in public, and legalize the growth of up to 12 marijuana plants in a house.

The measure will also impose a 3.75% excise tax on marijuana sales in addition to the 6.25% Massachusetts sales tax. It also allows cities and towns, to add a local tax of up to 2%, according to the "Yes on 4" website.

Robert Valencia

Robert is a writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the World Politics Review, Fusion, and the Miami Herald. He's a frequent guest in English- and Spanish-speaking media, including CNN, Univision, Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, and Voice of America. You can reach him at rvalencia@mic.com