A Massachusetts judge has upheld Gov. Charlie Baker’s order to close recreational cannabis retailers during the coronavirus pandemic, ruling against adult-use dispensary owners who challenged the closures in court. Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth W. Salinger said in a decision handed down on Thursday that the plaintiffs are unlikely to win their case and denied their request to allow the shops to reopen.
Salinger ruled that Baker had acted within his authority when he ordered recreational cannabis shops to close along with other nonessential businesses to help contain the spread of the virus. The governor said he feared that the state would be inundated by customers from nearby states without legal recreational pot if they were allowed to remain open. But several recreational dispensary owners filed suit, arguing the closures were arbitrary because medical marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores were allowed to continue serving customers as essential businesses.
“It was reasonable for the governor to be concerned that the relatively few adult-use marijuana establishments in Massachusetts are more likely than liquor stores or [medical marijuana dispensaries] to attract high volumes of customers, including people traveling from other states,” Salinger wrote in his ruling. “The governor’s decision to treat medical marijuana