VT: Public Asked To Weigh In On Marijuana Sales

Photo Credit: Jim Wilson

The collection of surveys asking whether marijuana dispensaries should be allowed here has begun.

“We have more than we were expecting,” Jeannette Eckert, assistant town clerk and office manager, told the Reformer.

Participants are asked two questions: “Should the town of Dover allow a medical marijuana dispensary in town?” and “Should the town of Dover allow recreational marijuana shops in town, subject to town law?”

The surveys include information about the conditions put on medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont. Dispensaries cannot operate within 1,000 feet of a school or day care. Marijuana cannot be consumed on site. Security measures must be taken. And there are limits on the number of clients and number of sales that can be made. Towns can ban dispensaries or impose restrictions or conditions.

The conversation in Dover came about after Wilmington residents Kathleen Matos and Stephanie Zumbruski proposed a medical marijuana dispensary in town. Due to marijuana still being illegal on the federal level, Dover Police Chief Randy Johnson had been trying to get the town to consider an ordinance prohibiting dispensaries for years.

Select Board members want to get feedback from the public. They made the surveys available in town offices on May 14 and will collect them until June 15.

Eckert said two different colors were used to distinguish between taxpayers, and second homeowners and business owners.

“Normally it would be the Dover taxpayers who would have a say in anything,” she said, but the Select Board wanted to open the discussion up to others who could be affected.

The results will be discussed at a meeting on June 19. Depending on the outcome, the Select Board may adopt an ordinance outlawing dispensaries.

As of Thursday morning, Eckert reported seeing at least 40 taxpayers submit surveys.

“I know I originally made 30 copies and we went through those, then I made another 30 copies and we’re in the middle of those,” she said of the taxpayer surveys. “I don’t think I’ve made a second round of copies on the others yet.”