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Medical Marijuana

Whately to hold medical marijuana hearing Tuesday

WHATELY — On Tuesday, the town Planning Board is seeking the input of residents on a proposed one-year medical marijuana moratorium.

The Planning Board is holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Under current zoning, a medical marijuana treatment center is not a permitted use in Whately, but following a state referendum legalizing medical pot, the attorney general has ruled towns can’t ban dispensaries but only regulate them.

The proposed article would amend the bylaw by adding a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana treatment center until Sept. 30, 2014, during which time the towns would write appropriate bylaws.

The moratorium would allow the town to study and address the effects of the treatment centers, public safety issues and consider any new zoning bylaws to address the operation of the centers, according to the proposed warrant article.

A total 70 percent of Whately residents who voted in the last election supported legalizing marijuana for medical treatment.

Many county towns are enacting or considering moratoriums. In May, Conway approved a one-year moratorium and Greenfield is considering one.

Deerfield has received inquiries from developers interested in growing marijuana in town.

Pioneer Gardens Inc. on Mill Village Road in Deerfield seeks to turn perennial plant greenhouses into marijuana growth centers. The medical marijuana would be sold through a dispensary in Boston, if owner Jaap Molenaar receives a license.

Deerfield’s Planning Board is studying whether the town should have a moratorium.

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