Vote for Orange marijuana moratorium Jan. 25

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Under the proposed Marijuana Overlay District presented by the Orange Planning Board, licensed marijuana establishments would only be allowed to conduct business in one of Orange’s two industrial parks.

The state regulations drafted by the Cannabis Control Commission set strict security requirements that must be met by every applicant before receiving a license. However, the regulations are also favorable to small businesses and farmers who are looking for an in-demand cash crop.

The tier 1 cultivator license, for instance, allows the cultivation of up to 1,000 square feet of canopy. There is a micro-business license, and another that allows growers to form craft cooperatives to share costs and profits. The Marijuana Overlay District effectively limits incoming businesses only to large corporations, preventing farmers from being able to use the new industry to stay viable on their land — this in a time when so many small farms are struggling.

The town meeting vote is on Jan. 25 at Town Hall at 7 p.m. I feel a moratorium is in order until the Planning Board can address the needs of its citizens.

Andrea Benjamin

O’Brien Farm, Orange