A very brief meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen was held on Monday, January 22 to review and sign the articles for the upcoming Special Town Meeting – a meeting that will ask voters to put a temporary hold on recreational and medical marijuana sales in the seaside community.
With the fast approaching April 1 launch date of state rules and regulations governing the sale of marijuana, cities and towns have been hustling to impose temporary moratoriums in an effort to slow outright implementation and research options for establishing local bylaws.
Planning Board public meetings were held and the public – both pro- and anti-recreational and medical use of the plant – found the majority in favor of a temporary moratorium.
Now the Planning Board is moving forward with a public meeting to be held on Monday, February 5, at 7:00 pm at Old Hammondtown School. At that time, the public is invited to review the warrant articles being proposed by the Planning Board.
The Special Town Meeting Warrant Article 1 asks voters to place a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments. The moratorium article covers “…cultivation, processing, distribution, possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes.…”
Article 2 covers medical marijuana treatment centers and also asks voters to approve a moratorium. This, too, covers cultivation, possessing of food, oils, and similar ingested or applied products. Section 12.3 reads “…the town hereby adopts a temporary moratorium on the use of land or structures for Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.”
“We’re bringing back Attorney Katherine Laughman to answer any questions voters may have, especially concerning Article 2, medical marijuana sales,” said Town Administrator Michael Gagne.
Gagne said that the Planning Board confirmed that coverage of that aspect of marijuana issue was not fully vetted during previously held public meetings.
With that in mind, Laughman and Planning Board Administrator Mary Crain will respond to any questions.
The moratoria, if accepted at the Special Town Meeting and approved by the Attorney General, would remain in place until December 31, 2018.
A two-thirds vote is required for approval of the new temporary bylaws.
The Special Town Meeting is scheduled for February 12 at 6:30 pm at Old Rochester Regional High School’s auditorium. The warrant is available in hardcopy at Town Hall and is viewable and downloadable from the Town’s website, www.mattapoisett.net.
Also during the meeting, the selectmen were advised by Gagne that the state would be providing some sewer rate relief funding.
Gagne also presented the selectmen for their signatures two PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) programs for solar arrays constructed off of Crystal Spring Road.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13 at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall conference room.
Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen
By Marilou Newell