2017-10-19 / Upcoming Events

Pot public hearing set for Dec. 11

The town councilors Monday night voted unanimously to schedule a public hearing on whether the town should regulate commercialized marijuana in town. The public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11.

According to the draft advanced by the town council, commercial and retail marijuana will be restricted in all 12 zoning districts, including growing, processing, cultivating, testing and selling the drug. That does not, however, affect personal growers licensed by the state. If approved, a table will be added to the zoning code that identifies marijuana as a use.

The measure was forwarded by the planning commission, which recommended the ordnance to protect the character of the community and the “health, safety and welfare of its citizens.”

The planning board met four times in August and September to consider regulations following a six-month moratorium imposed by the councilors in June. The town decided on the temporary freeze because of the mounting support nationwide for legalized recreational marijuana, including Massachusetts. The moratorium ends Dec. 16.

While the state’s so-called Medical Marijuana Act establishes a framework for licensed growers, it also requires them to comply with local ordinances. According to state law, growers only will be licensed after they “provide evidence of compliance with the local zoning laws for each physical address to be utilized as a compassion center or for the secure cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Currently, marijuana is not mentioned in the town’s zoning code. Although Town Planner Lisa Bryer contends unnamed uses are “assumed prohibited,” she doesn’t want legal ambiguity concerning the regulations on agriculture, which is allowed in every district.

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