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AG Says Mass. Towns Cannot Bar Marijuana Centers

Bob Salsberg, Associated Press
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Marijuana (Photo credit PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images)

Marijuana (Photo credit PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Martha Coakley has ruled that Massachusetts towns cannot issue total bans on medical marijuana treatment centers within their communities.

But Coakley also ruled on Wednesday that towns can adopt zoning bylaws that would regulate the treatment centers and possibly limit where they could be located.

Massachusetts voters in November approved the use of medicinal marijuana. The law allows for up to 35 marijuana dispensaries around the state.

The attorney general struck down a bylaw approved by the town of Wakefield that called for an outright ban on dispensaries.

But Coakley signed off on a bylaw passed in Burlington that imposed a temporary moratorium on the treatment centers until the town completes a further study of zoning issues.

The attorney general’s office must approve all town bylaws, but does not have oversight of city ordinances.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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