Deerfield looks at zoning for medical marijuana
DEERFIELD — The Planning Board has proposed new zoning rules that would allow medical marijuana treatment centers in industrial and planned industrial zoned areas by special permit.
On Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, the townspeople will be asked to weigh in on the proposal at a public hearing.
With the proposed rules, Deerfield may become the first town to adopt zoning regulations related to medical marijuana operations.
Deerfield is one of the few towns that has not approved a temporary moratorium. A total of 115 towns have adopted moratoriums across the state while they update their local regulations to take into account medical marijuana production and sales.
Dispensaries and marijuana growing would be allowed in industrial zones. The East Deerfield rail yard, Pelican Products on North Main Street and the Channing Bete Co. property off Routes 5 and 10 are in industrial zones, while a planned industrial zone encompasses the Deerfield Industrial Park off Route 116.
Dispensaries would not be allowed in residential agricultural, central village residential, small business, commercial or an expedited permitting district.
Planning Board Chairman John Waite said the board may add one more change, which would require the board to hold an additional public hearing since the proposal was not in the first hearing’s public notice. The change would be to allow cultivation in residential agricultural zones with a setback of 25 feet.
The proposed changes add a stipulation that no medical marijuana facility should be sited within a 500 feet radius of a school, daycare center or any facility in which children congregate.
The proposed revisions would go before the town for final approval at a special town meeting on Oct. 28.
The state Department of Public Health is reviewing 158 applicants seeking to gain one of the 35 licenses to open a registered medical marijuana dispensary. Five applicants are vying for a Franklin County license.
So far, Whately potato farmer James Pasiecnik has made public his plans to open a dispensary in either the Deerfield or Whately industrial parks if he’s granted a license and receives support from selectmen. The Deerfield selectmen have not said whether they would support Pasiecnik’s venture.
You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.