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Medical Marijuana

Montague looks at pot dispensary zoning laws

MONTAGUE — Montague planners have opted to prepare special zoning bylaws for the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries, but don’t see a need for a moratorium in the meantime.

Town Planner Walter Ramsey said the Planning Board opted to move forward with his proposal, to allow the dispensaries by special permit in four commercial and industrial zones, after a public workshop Tuesday evening that drew only two residents.

The next step will be a public hearing on the proposed change to the zoning bylaws in September before the proposal arrives on town meeting floor, likely at a special town meeting this winter or at the annual spring meeting.

As the zoning laws stand, a dispensary would be considered a retail sales and service establishment and allowed by-right in the general business, neighborhood business, central business, rural business and historic industrial districts, and by special permit in industrial districts.

Ramsey’s proposal is to allow dispensaries by special permit only in the general business, central business, historical industrial and industrial zones.

The Zoning Board of Appeals would be the permitting authority and applicants would be required to submit detailed building plans, waste disposal procedures and copies of security, home delivery and other plans previously approved by the Department of Public Health.

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