Ashfield considering pot moratorium

  • Ashfield Town Hall. Recorder/Paul Franz PAUL FRANZ

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ASHFIELD — Special town meeting voters on Monday, March 19, will consider whether to put a lid on pot — at least until the town has had a chance to study all issues related to legal recreational marijuana use in town.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

The proposed moratorium would prohibit “recreational marijuana establishments” in town at least until Dec. 31, giving town officials and the Planning Board more time to consider legal issues, impact on zoning and public safety issues.

Recreational Marijuana Establishments are defined by the town as any licensed business related to recreational marijuana use, including: cultivation, testing facilities, product manufacturing and retailing.

Without a moratorium, according to the warrant, the state Cannabis Control Commission allows for licensing of commercial marijuana activities to start Thursday, March 15, and for towns to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses on April 1.

Three housekeeping issues are also on the warrant: The town wants approval to transfer money into the winter roads account. Town Moderator Buzz Eisenberg has proposed an article that would allow the moderator to do away with a hand-count on warrant articles requiring a two-thirds majority vote, provided the two-thirds majority approval is obvious. However, a hand-count vote will be done if seven or more voters request one.

Another town meeting time-saving proposal asks voters to call on the Town Clerk, with Selectboard approval, to renumber or re-letter bylaw sections for appropriate sequencing, without having to ask for town meeting for approval every time an editing change is needed.