Bylaw draft says no to pot cafes, vending machines, displays; says yes to zoning measures

By Tyler A. McNeil | Jul 12, 2018
Photo by: Tyler A. McNeil Eileen Marum speaks to the Planning Board Bylaw Subcommittee and Master Plan Subcommittee on Thursday, July 12.

Marion — Potential recreational marijuana business in Marion would be best fit for a limited industrial zone under drafted bylaw changes, according to Eileen Marum of the Planning Board.

Under a marijuana bylaw draft pieced together by Marum and reviewed by the town's legal counsel, sellers would be prohibited within 300 feet of residential areas and 500 feet of any school, child-care facility, or playground.

She mentioned Sippican Office Park, which currently houses Polaris and Lockheed Martin, as an example of an ideal setting for a pot retailer.

“You’ve got a little wooded area,” Marum said about a limited industrial zone. “It’s not near homes, it’s not near a school, it’s kind of by itself so people can access it.”

Additionally, special permit requirements under the draft would outlaw marijuana vending machines and self-service displays. Marijuana vendors also couldn’t sell alcohol or tobacco products.

Consumers wouldn’t be able to smoke, burn, vape, consume any marijuana products at shops, either. This change, Marum said, is an effort to prevent buzz driving.

“We don’t have any of what they call ‘marijuana cafes’ where you can go there and perhaps order food or a salad,” she said.

Should it pass the Planning Board after review, Marum’s confident that the marijuana bylaw will make it to the Town Meeting floor based on a close vote over a temporary marijuana moratorium at the last meeting in February.

For now, Marum has shared the draft with the Planning Board Bylaw Subcommittee and Master Plan Subcommittee. During a meeting on Wednesday, July 12, members of both subcommittees breezed through the matter, seeking time to look it over.

“People need to read it and think about it,” Norm Hills, clerk for the Planning Board and Selectmen said at the meeting before moving to the next item.

Should the bylaw be approved by town voters, it would go to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Healey is expected to make a decision between Town Meeting and the moratorium end date, Dec. 31.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.