Temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana put on hold

By Georgia Sparling | Mar 06, 2017

Mattapoisett — On Monday night, Planning Board members discussed sponsoring a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana. The proposal would need to go to Town Meeting for a vote.

Planning Board secretary Mary Crain attended an information session led by town counsel Kopelman and Paige on the recreational marijuana law approved in November. The law firm encouraged towns to pass a temporary moratorium on sales while the state works out the exact regulations for the law.

“It’s just temporary and to give the community time to catch their breath and get to understand all the issues around the topic and decide how they want to treat it,” Crain explained.

Planning Board member Janice Robbins wasn’t sure they should be the ones to support the agenda item. She said she didn’t know enough to be able to defend it at Town Meeting and also questioned: “Is this something we should have been thinking about? We knew this was coming, but there was nothing done.”

Crain said it is still a new law and much is unclear about it. The language of the proposed agenda item, provided by Kopelman and Paige, would prohibit non-medical marijuana establishments through June 30, 2018. As it stands, the state will begin accepting license applications for commercial recreational marijuana by April 1 of next year.

Board member Gail Carlson said she would support a moratorium, but Karen Field wanted more discussion and understanding on the topic before making a decision.

The board decided to table the discussion and to bring in other town departments to talk about it.

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