The planning board has been allowed to establish a medical marijuana moratorium in order to do the research necessary to establish a zoning bylaw relative to medical marijuana dispensaries.
The article was drafted to give the planning board time to observe what other municipalities determine to be the best practice regarding zoning bylaws for medical marijuana dispensaries at their respective town meetings in the spring.
An amendment to the article proposed changing the end date of the moratorium from June 30, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014. The end date of Dec. 31, 2014 is a date that has been given by the Attorney General as the date by which town planning boards must end the moratorium.
George Wadsworth, planning board chair, said the purpose of the article is to see what other communities are doing relative to the marijuana issue in their communities.
“Nothing we are doing will affect state regulations as far as I am aware,” Wadsworth said. “We will look at what others are doing, study it and decide whether we are going to add local overlay to that.”
Wadsworth said that, while he cannot guarantee the planning board will have a zoning bylaw drafted, but the board will complete their study and will be on their way to issuing something relative to the issue.
“It’s important to note that we don’t have any proposed marijuana stores for Duxbury,” he said. “No licenses have been given, and there is no indication of interest. There is not much of a threat here.”
There are eight applications for dispensaries in Plymouth County and each county is allowed to have five dispensaries. In Duxbury, there are nine business zones where a dispensary could possibly operate. The potential bylaw is necessary to prevent a dispensary from operating in a residentially-zoned area. Anywhere that may be of frequent use by children may not become home to a dispensary, which leaves only two or three zones in Duxbury where a dispensary could exist.