Marion to hold special Town Meeting for marijuana moratorium

Jan 3, 2018

The Town of Marion will hold a special Town Meeting to vote on a moratorium on the issuance of permits for recreational marijuana.

Planning Board Chair Eileen Marum spoke at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday night about the meeting, citing the need for more time to draft bylaws as the reason for the moratorium.

“We don’t have the time to get bylaws in place to protect the town from recreational marijuana establishments,” she said. “Without bylaws in place, they can use whatever land they want, whatever buildings they want. They can go into any storefront. We’ll have no control over hours of operation or location.”

The state is expected to have its own regulations ready by March 15, but will start accpeting applications for licenses on April 1, giving towns only a few weeks to draft and vote on bylaws.

“If we don’t have a bylaw in place, then Marion will be vulnerable to whatever the marijuana establishments want to do,” Marum said.

Many other towns in the state, including Rochester, have voted in favor of a moratorium. The Mattapoisett Planning Board will also request host a special Town Meeting to vote on one.

The moratorium would likely run through Dec. 31, 2018, so towns could have the annual Town Meeting and Fall Town Meeting to get bylaws into place.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson said he was currently eyeing a Feb. 15 date for the special Town Meeting.