Voters convincingly backed a state law that allows marijuana to be used by people with debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Yet many communities now appear hesitant to open their borders to facilities where the drug would be legally cultivated and sold.
Dozens of cities and towns have approved, or are considering temporary moratoriums on medical marijuana outlets, while others are drafting zoning rules to restrict where dispensaries can be located.
Moratoriums are in place in many communities where last November's ballot question passed by wide margins. In Sheffield, for example, 71 per cent of voters endorsed medical marijuana; in Ipswich, just under two-thirds of voters approved it.
The local roadblocks worry patients who are waiting for access to the drug.
"Everyone says, 'I don't want it in my town, not in my neighbourhood.' So where do I get it?" asks Donald Parker, of Middleborough, who says marijuana helps him control a rare condition that causes prolonged bouts of vomiting and weight loss.