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Lawmakers consider reducing home-grown pot allowance

Senate president calls marijuana plant allowances "very large."

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said lawmakers could make cuts to number of marGetty Images

The cap on the number of pot plants adults are allowed to grow could be on the chopping block as Massachusetts legislators prepare to vet the state's new marijuana laws.

In an interview on Merrimack Valley's WCAP radio Tuesday, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg said lawmakerswouldconsider reducing the current home-growing limit of six marijuana plants per adult and maximum of 12 per household.

"According to the people who know a lot more about this than I do, they say that for someone who knows how to truly grow these plants and once you master it — which is not all that hard —12 plants would produce about 30 marijuana cigarettes a day."

"It's a very large quantity to have in your home at any given time," Rosenberg added.

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Asked to clarify whether the Senate president supports a reduction in the number of plants that can be legally grown, a spokesman for Rosenberg told State House News Service that the Senate leader is "still doing his homework and will await the recommendation of the Marijuana Committee."

Calls to Rosenberg's office were not immediately returned Tuesday.

While on the air, Rosenberg said "advocates understand that this [allowance] is likely to be debated in the process."

But pro-legalization activists said otherwise.

"We vehemently disagree with any attempt to further limit the home-grower allowances," said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Yes on 4 campaign, the organization that lobbied for the passage of recreational marijuana laws last year.

Massachusetts' limits are in line with eight other states plus Washington D.C. that have legalized pot,Borghesanisaid, calling Rosenberg's yield estimates "ridiculous."

"The fact is, there are going to be very few home growers. It will be a niche market just as is now," he said, noting plant allowances were modeled after state law allowances for home-brewed beer and wine.

Since legal marijuana became the law of the land in Massachusetts on Dec. 15, the state legislature has pushed back the opening of retail dispensaries for recreational users by six months, citing a need for more time to set up regulations.

RELATED: Lawmakers push off legal pot sales

The House and Senate are creating a joint committee on marijuana to weed through the law approved by voters in the Nov. 8 election. That committee has also set its sights on upping the tax on retail sales.

WhileBorghesanisaid he wished legislators would stay out of it, he chalked the push-back up to a fear of change.

"We saw prohibition hysteria and now legalization hysteria. Ultimately, I think people will realize the problems are fairly minimal and that they're not going to see much of a change in larger society," hesaid.

 
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