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Medical Marijuana

Whately to hold hearing again on farm stands, pot

Public hearing set for March 25 at 7

WHATELY — Residents are asked to reconvene in March to weigh in on proposed medical marijuana siting and farm stand bylaws due to an error in advertising the public hearing.

The Planning Board scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday in Town Hall, but because it did not post where the public can find copies of the proposed regulations in its advertisement, it will have to hold a second public hearing.

The public hearing is scheduled for March 25 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall. The proposed bylaws would then go before voters at the April 29 annual town meeting.

Only one person showed up at Town Hall last week to discuss the farm stand bylaw changes.

Medical marijuana bylaw

According to the proposed bylaws, medical marijuana dispensaries would only be allowed in the town’s industrial zone. If approved at town meeting, the new bylaw would replace a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers that will expire on May 31.

According to the bylaw, medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed by special permit through the Zoning Board of Appeals in the industrial district. Off-site medical marijuana dispensaries — or one that is separate from the cultivation/processing facility, but controlled by the same nonprofit — would be allowed by special permit in the commercial and commercial/industrial zone. No facility would be allowed within 300 feet of a school or place where children congregate.

Farm stand bylaw

Under the proposed farm stand bylaw, farm stands with more than 300 square feet of retail space where at least 25 percent of the product is made by the owner would have to go through a site plan review by the Planning Board. Farm stands with at least 15 percent of their product made by the owner would be allowed by special permit in agricultural districts one and two. They would be allowed by right in the remaining districts and subject to site plan review. Year-round greenhouses with more than 300 square feet of retail space would be subject to a site plan review.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268

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