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Medical Marijuana

Greenfield OKs ordinance for pot farm, dispensary

GREENFIELD — The town now has a zoning ordinance that will regulate medical marijuana farms and dispensaries.

In September, Town Council discussed the possibility of imposing a moratorium on the farms and dispensaries, until the town could come up with a “satisfactory” ordinance, but the moratorium was voted down.

After a joint public hearing of the council’s Economic Development Committee and the town’s Planning Board, the council decided to vote an amendment to an existing zoning ordinance, which will allow for operating hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., instead of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and it will also ban them within 100 feet of schools, day care facilities, playgrounds and parks.

Council Vice President Hillary Hoffman said she was happy that the zoning was amended so quickly.

“This is going to relieve suffering,” she said, alluding the benefits of medical marijuana for certain ill people.

Massachusetts voters approved a referendum legalizing marijuana for medical use last November. Then, in May, the state Department of Public Health provided zoning, health and security regulations for the future dispensaries.

Greenfield officials felt they needed to add a couple of amendments.

The state plans to allow 35 licenses — up to five per county with at least one required in each — and the mayor and council would like Greenfield to get one of them.

Mayor William Martin had originally requested a one-year moratorium, and then a six-month moratorium, but the council felt the issue was too important to delay.

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