Recreational marijuana bylaw being drafted

Apr 25, 2018

After previous discussion and input from the Board of Health, the Planning Board decided at its April 24 meeting to draft a recreational marijuana zoning bylaw in the coming weeks.

Currently, the town has bylaws for medical facilities, but with regulations recently passed by the state and the town’s moratorium set to expire by the end of the year, the board has to decide on how to zone where recreational facilities can go.

At its March 26 meeting, the board addressed the issue but members were concerned with making sure the bylaw language does not zone business out of town, as it was initially suggested to model the recreational bylaw after the currently enacted medical bylaw.

Medical facilities cannot be located within 4,000 square feet of each other and are only allowed in the office and general industrial districts. The buildings also can’t be near places like schools and daycares.

The board sought input from the Board of Health regarding the issue and the board agreed with having it mirror the medical facilities with the 4,000 square foot requirement in place.

Planning Director John Hansen said it’s first come first serve and if a medical facility wanted to do both, but was within the square footage of a recreational building then it wouldn’t be able to get the permit.

“Basically it’s the first man in syndrome,” Hansen said. “If a recreational marijuana facility comes into Faunce Corner Road and later on the current medical marijuana facility wants to convert to recreational, if they're within 4,000 linear feet of an existing recreational facility, they wouldn’t be allowed to.”