Moratorium Proposed For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in North Reading
The Community Planning Commission held a workshop Monday night regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.
On Election Day last year, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot proposal that allows medical marijuana sales in the state, which left cities and towns to set regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. The Community Planning Commission (CPC) held a workshop Monday night regarding such dispensaries in North Reading.
According to Town Planner Danielle McKnight, the CPC discussed proposing a moratorium to residents at Town Meeting in June. The Department of Public Health has not released the guidelines for the dispensaries yet, which is the main reason for the moratorium.
“We don’t have all of the information that we need from the state yet as far as guidelines for the dispensaries," she said.
The moratorium would temporarily prevent anyone from licensing a dispensary in town, McKnight explained. Once the guidelines are released, the CPC will consider them and look at creating a bylaw.
The guidelines from the state could be released in May, but it may be later, McKnight told Patch.
"We’re going to wait until we have all of the guidelines and then we will discuss what way we should go," she said.
The moratorium, if approved at Town Meeting this June, would end in Oct. of 2014, which would give the CPC enough time to propose a bylaw before Town Meeting that month.
According to McKnight, the CPC has discussed a number of possibilities, including zoning the dispensaries into a particular district. However, no decisions will be made until the guidelines are available.
Residents can vote for or against the moratorium at Town Meeting in June. The CPC will also hold a public hearing before the meeting.