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MA: Springfield Considering 1-Year Moratorium On Pot Sales Pending Local Regulations

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
Springfield - The city is considering a moratorium on the sale of recreational marijuana in Springfield for up to one year to allow local officials time to draft zoning regulations.

The moratorium is being proposed after voters in Massachusetts approved the sale of recreational marijuana in a binding referendum on Election Day on Nov. 8.

"This allows the city an opportunity to create regulations for uses not anticipated in the current zoning ordinance," City Deputy Director of Planning Philip Dromey said Thursday.

The moratorium allows the city to consider the impacts that recreational marijuana facilities will have "on adjacent uses and on general public health, safety and welfare, and to develop zoning and/or other applicable regulations that appropriately address these considerations consistent with statewide regulations and permitting procedures, which are currently being developed," the moratorium proposal states.

The moratorium would expire Dec. 17, 2017, "or until such time that superseding regulations are adopted which addresses the impacts and operations for the sale of recreational marijuana and related uses, whichever is sooner," according to the proposal.

The Planning Board has a public hearing scheduled Dec. 21, at 6 p.m., at City Hall, to consider public input on the proposed moratorium and will forward its recommendation to the City Council.

A moratorium needs final approval from the City Council that would schedule its own public hearing expected in January.

There was also a moratorium in Springfield on medical marijuana facilities in advance of regulations. In 2014, the council approved a zoning ordinance that required a special permit for medical marijuana facilities and stipulated that such businesses had to be sited in an Industrial A Zone and had to be at least 500 feet from any residence, school, child care center or any other site where "children commonly congregate."

There were also moratoriums approved by the council years ago to allow regulations for cellular towers and digital billboards, Dromey said.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the council have approved a special permit and a host community agreement for a medical marijuana dispensary at 506 Cottage St., in East Springfield, planned by Hampden Care Facility.

Zoning requirements for the recreational marijuana facilities would be separately drafted, and result in future public hearings before passage.

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News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Springfield Considering 1-Year Moratorium On Recreational Pot Sales Pending Local Regulations
Author: Peter Goonan
Contact: MassLive
Photo Credit: Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts
Website: MassLive
 
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