Last November, Massachusetts residents voted to legalize medical marijuana for debilitating conditions. This voter approved legislation allowed for 35 dispensaries within the state…One has yet to open. This now puts cities in the position of having to provide safe access to patients, which some are moving on faster than others.
The City Council of Brockton has placed a temporary ban on medical marijuana sales and growing. This decision came down due to the fact that NO ORDINANCE has been created for its city, although the state has a voter approved law with zoning guidelines. The city has one year to come up with a plan for dispensaries to properly operate within the city. There will also be a moratorium on licensing of dispensaries until June 2014.
Mayor Linda Balzotti said that within the current marijuana law if the cities do not allow dispensaries then patients without access to a shop can file for a hardship and grow their own….So, she is in favor of at most one dispensary to serve her city; that way they avoid the possibility of grow operations popping up due to lack of proximity to a dispensary. “It’s such an uncharted territory that I don’t think any of us really know what it’s truly going to mean for the community, but it’s clearly something we’re going to have to prepare for and try to handle it as best as we can,” Said Mayor Balzotti.
The state has already said that dispensaries may only be zoned in areas for hospitals and medical clinics. Stay tuned, in September it faces the Ordinance Committee.