The Great Barrington select board voted to add a new marijuana dispensary in town to sell marijuana for adult use, also known as recreational use. They also voted to allow an existing medicinal marijuana dispensary in town to also sell for adult use.
“It’s all new and it changes everything.”
Select board member Ed Abrahams, who voted for the measure, says the town will benefit from the dispensaries. they voted on a 3 percent sales tax on the dispensaries.
“There’s another 3 percent on gross sales which the town can use to mitigate some of the negative impacts, whether its road congestion or drug education to make sure teenagers know this is not something they’re supposed to be using.”
But he does have reservations about it.
“I don’t like that teenagers can go to jail for marijuana. … I hope that we can keep an eye on this.”
Just over the state line in New York, marijuana is illegal. The Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office is preparing for people that may try to smuggle the drug from Massachusetts.
Once they cross into New York state, all state laws apply.
Sergeant Michael DiNardo says the sheriff’s office doesn’t have specific strategies for enforcing the transportation of marijuana across state lines — but they will be keeping a closer eye out for people bringing it over — or driving high.
“One of our biggest concerns, and one of the sheriff’s concerns, is the potential increase of people operating a vehicle under the influence.,” he said.
And as Great Barrington, they will also use a slice of the tax revenue from the sales to train law enforcement to keep impaired drivers off the road.
The two dispensaries have also agreed to donate $10,000 each to a local non profit of their choosing.