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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. 

John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Scott - You're correct, of course. Let's ban the pharmacies too!
Joe Veno March 07, 2013 at 01:46 PM
John no need to be sorry but you just lost all your credibility on Patch with that post. I agree you are entitled to your opinion just like I am.
Joe Veno March 07, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Well said vouiceofreason......
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Joe - I'm sure other Patch readers will be able to resolve your seemingly contradictory statements. If I'm entitled to my own opinion, then why would I lose my credibility by expressing it? We're talking a completely legal business that could bring tax revenues to the town. What are you afraid of? The fear that these businesses are frequented by criminals and addicts is unsupported by facts. Do you worry about the clientele at CVS? Do you know that According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health almost 2 million Americans are opioid dependent? Where do you think they get their oxycontin? Yet, you're not afraid of CVS?
Frank March 07, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Hey John, could you provide us with your home address so we can propose a nice little dispensary next door to you? Think about it, all the little old grandmothers with glaucoma pulling up your street to fill their prescriptions. Just like a scene from Norman Rockwell. A picture worth a thousand words to see you on your front porch waving to all the patients picking up their scripts. Think of all the tax increased tax revenue for the town! Oh I bet you would be so proud you supported this initiative as your property values skyrocket! Also think of all the gas you would save on that motorcycle, all you would have to do is walk next door to fill your script for being COMPLETLEY SHORT SIGHTED !!!!!
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 02:44 PM
Very helpful post Frank, thanks. The truth is, like it or not, marijuana laws in the US are becoming less and less restrictive. Denying this and preventing dispensaries in North Reading would be "COMPLETLEY SHORTSIGTED !!!!!" [sic].
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Thanks Frank, very helpful post. The fact is, like it or not, marijuana laws in the US are becoming less and less restrictive, particularly for medical prescribed cannabis. Banning dispensaries in North Reading and foregoing their economic benefits would be "COMPLETLEY SHORT SIGHTED" [sic].
Joe Veno March 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM
John. I think more people will agree with me on this issue.
Scott Stimpson March 07, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Maybe I should just let this debate die, but.... today's Boston Globe article might add some reason to the discussion. I'm thinking that maybe the North Reading CPC should create a Medical Marijuana Business Incubator site at the old Stop & Shop. Looks like it could prop up the entire local economy. http://www.boston.com/business/news/2013/03/07/medicial-marijuana-businesses-look-massachusetts-for-growth-opportunities/5Fsc0WLROYBpQMBunPiuBK/story.html
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 03:42 PM
If that's your goal, Joe, congrats!
Joe Veno March 07, 2013 at 03:58 PM
John that was not a goal. That was a statement of what I believe to be a fact.
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Interesting article Scott. Wouldn't it be nice for North Reading to get a cut of some of that revenue?!?!
John Intorcio March 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Don't stop believin' Joe!
Matt M March 07, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Intorcio,by law, the marijuana dispensaries must be non-profit, another "fact" you got wrong. Pretty sure there is no tax revenue with a non-profit. And by the way, I agree with Frank, you and Stimpson seem to be the only ones supporting these dispensaries so let's ask the CPC to zone these next door to you. No one else will see them because no one will visit you anyway. KP, do you think that the people that are "prescribed" this marijuana will not drive under the influence? No one thought Oxycontin would be abused either. Ask a family that has to live with that addiction the rest of their lives. To set the record straight, pharmacies refuse to dispense marijuana, and most legitimate Doctors won't either, that's why the law had to designate dispensaries. All you need to be is 21 years old to run one, no medical background or degree needed. Google marijuana laws in California, Colorado and Oregon. Those states wish they could do it all over again. Thank you to the Town for putting the wheels in motion to keep these havens for illicit activity out of our town. John and Stimpson, we'll let you know which town welcomes them in. I'll hire the moving van for you.
Joe Veno March 08, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Very interesting Matt there goes Johns theory about the town making money on it.
John Intorcio March 08, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Nice rant Matt. Did you read the referenced Globe article? Have you seem how much "non-profit" hospitals are making these days? Check your facts.
Joe Veno March 08, 2013 at 01:33 AM
John, Matt was not ranting. Bad example John. Google do Hospitials pay taxes. The article says non profit hospitials do not pay taxes. They are allowed to make money but they do not pay taxes on it or their property.
Matt M March 08, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Not debating how much the 21 year old will make. Most likely will get very wealthy. Most of what they take in will be distributed in high salaries. What about the revenue you said these dispensaries will bring to the town? No sales tax, no real estate tax, nothing for the town. And we benefit how? Oh yeah, the town will get to clean up the mess it will create. You qoute an "MPP" article. Do you know who they are and what they represent? Their organization and the article is slanted toward legalizing marijuana. It's not fact based it's their push for full legalization. The law passed by our Commonwealth did not legalize marijuana. It made it legal to be prescribed for serious medical conditions, same as what Oxycontin was original prescribed for. We all know how that turned out.
John Intorcio March 08, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Joe - They also pay their CEOs in the millions, employ hundreds, and spawn support businesses that surround them - restaurants and stores. Wouldn't that be horrible? Matt - Nice re-rant. Did you read the referenced Globe article? Have you seen how much "non-profit" hospitals are making these days? Check your facts. Look, we can be as selective as we want on business that come to North Reading. We drive out OSJL, we drive out "new" business like the dispensaries... What do we end up with? Vacant supermarkets, crumbling towing shops, abandoned storefronts. Yah, that's working really well for us.
Joe Veno March 08, 2013 at 02:11 AM
John, I never said they do not make money. I said they do not pay taxes as a non-profit. Totally different subject and you know it. The second paragraph in Matts post above brings out a good point. Do you have any comment on that?
John Intorcio March 08, 2013 at 02:38 AM
Which point was that, Joe? That if you don't like the facts you should indict the messenger?
Paul Hurteau March 10, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Uh, yeah,, I would hate to have the likes of Bill Gates, President Obama, willie Nelson, and just about every other GREAT person in the world who has smoked Marijuana. Why are you all not up in arm's about alcohol being sold in your town or cigarettes?? You know, Known poisons and killers
Paul Hurteau March 10, 2013 at 08:39 PM
BRAVO!!!
Paul Hurteau March 10, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Don't forget Monster Drinks,,, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/buzzkill-number-energy-drink-er-patients-doubles-article-1.1241131
Paul Hurteau March 10, 2013 at 08:42 PM
There is this thing on the internet called "Google",,, Use it and educate yourself because the statement you made shows you live in a vacuum!!
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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