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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. 

Paul Hurteau March 10, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Not only would I welcome one right next door, I wish I had the money to open one. Have you EVER been around a bar on Friday at closing time?? I would MUCH rather have stoners than drunks!
Jojo March 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
All those opposing the dispensary are the same who cheer when a new bar or liquor store is opened...alcohol has absolutely no health benefits and causes a myriad of medical and societal problems... When was the last time you heard of a guy smoking a joint and going home to beat the wife and kids? Get off your high horses and do some research on the ways in which patients can benefit from its use and then see if you can find any info on the positive benefits of alcohol consumption.
Paul Hurteau March 12, 2013 at 05:53 PM
What you consider "attractive" may not be someone else's cup of tea,,, Personally, I think all religious organizations should be banned for spreading lies and hate, but hey, that's just my opinion. Catholic priests are more dangerous than Marijuana!!
Paul Hurteau March 12, 2013 at 05:57 PM
And you are going to trust what the government says?? You do know that the government does hold a patent on Marijuana stating it has medical benefits?? http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/257008
Paul Hurteau March 12, 2013 at 06:02 PM
The statements made here opposing marijuana for any reason shows just how the government has taught ignorance. I have to ask, is there an age restriction on buying thera flu, mouth wash or any other over the counter medication that can produce a "buzz"?? Why not look at those as well. You want to protect the "Children",,, don't do a half a#@ job! Ban cigarettes, alcohol and anything else that a youth might catch a buzz on,, Don't forget cafine!

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