Massachusetts has approved the transport of marijuana to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket for the first time, addressing a cannabis shortage that led to the temporary closure of one dispensary in May and the impending closure of another by September.

The Cannabis Control Commission issued an order to facilitate this, aiming to support over 230 registered medical users and thousands of recreational users on the islands. Previously, the commission had barred marijuana transportation over state waters, citing federal law conflicts despite marijuana’s legality in Massachusetts.

This policy shift follows the US Department of Justice’s move to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug. Transporting marijuana to the islands will require compliance with federal laws, including using approved boats and routes within state waters.

This decision is a relief for island residents and visitors, underscoring the regulatory complexities between state and federal cannabis laws.