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Planning Board discusses proposed pot revisions



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

SUNDERLAND — Residents could choose to make zoning bylaws less restrictive toward marijuana at an October special town meeting when they vote on proposed revisions regarding adult use of the drug.

The Planning Board held a public hearing Tuesday to discuss the proposed changes and opted unanimously to add to the proposals a ban on marijuana cultivation in each of Sunderland’s five districts.

David Dreyer, who lives in Sunderland as a renter, attended the meeting for two graduate courses he takes at the University of Massachusetts, where he is working toward a master’s degree in regional planning, and was the only member of the public present. Planning Board Chairman Dana Roscoe said marijuana is a hot topic in Sunderland and he hopes more people will attend the special town meeting the second week of October.

“I would like to prod some sort of public involvement,” he said before closing the public hearing. “We need some discussion.”

Another proposed revision is the addition of language prohibiting marijuana use within “500 feet from schools, recreation areas and churches measured from the closest property line of the school, recreation area or church to the closest property line of the Marijuana Establishment.”

There are also proposed definitions of independent testing laboratory, marijuana cultivator, marijuana establishment, marijuana product manufacturer, marijuana products, marijuana research facility and marijuana retailer.

A copy of the draft revisions can be found at https://bit.ly/2MlkBv1.

The proposed changes appear underlined and in red, with a vertical line to the left of the page.

Massachusetts voters opted in November 2016 to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana.