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Granby to vote on recreational marijuana moratorium

  • In this Feb. 17, 2016 photo, plants grow at the home of Jeremy Nickle, in his backyard in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nickel, who owns Hawaiian Holy Smokes and is applying for a dispensary, grows a variety of strains and has a medical marijuana card. Those wanting to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii face unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters. (AP Photo/Marina Riker) Marina Riker

Staff Writer
Published: 12/14/2017 9:13:14 PM

GRANBY — A proposed bylaw that would restrict when and where recreational marijuana dispensaries may operate in town for one year heads to voters at Tuesday’s special Town Meeting.

The article, proposed by the Planning Board, would amend current town rules to place a temporary moratorium on the opening of any recreational marijuana dispensaries until Nov. 30, 2018. The amendment would also ban sales in residential areas.

“The purpose of the vote is not to eliminate or prohibit the sale of marijuana,” said Mark Bail, chairman of the Select Board. “What it does it give us is a year to put zoning bylaws and regulations into place.”

The Select Board held a public hearing on the changes last month.

Bail said the Planning Board used a template drafted by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to write the amendment. The same template was used in South Hadley to pass a moratorium on recreational marijuana sales last year.

“We’re not alone in that,” Bail said. “I think a lot of towns are doing this.”

Voters statewide legalized recreational marijuana use. Granby approved the ballot referendum by a margin of 1,941 to 1,689.

The state’s marijuana regulators, the Cannabis Control Commission, this week approved rules regarding on-site consumption, opening the door for “cannabis cafes” that facilitate the sale and use of marijuana.

The commission, which began meeting in September, is in crafting regulations to govern the industry. The state is expected next April to start receiving licensing applications from those who want to grow, process, package and sell pot, and by July facilities will start to open.

The special Town Meeting will take place at the Granby Junior-Senior High School at 7 p.m.

Sarah Robertson can be reached at srobertson@gazettenet.com


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