Pot is now legal to grow in Massachusetts
The Amherst Select Board, keepers of the public way, is greatly concerned about the implementation of recreational pot which is already legal to grow and share as long as you don't charge for it (wink, wink).
In their official letter to our good friend Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo they outline four requests:
(1) Allow a local municipality an easy way (Town Meeting) to delay recreation sales.
(2) Allow a local municipality an easy way (Town Meeting) to limit the number and location of recreational pot establishments.
(3) Rethink the "home grown" provision so Amherst is not overrun by free recreational pot.
(4) Rethink the 2% maximum local option sales tax on retailers.
The current law allows Amherst to limit the number of recreational pot permits to (a) either no more than the number of medical permits issued or (b) 20% the number of alcohol sales permits.
55 University Drive received Special Permit from ZBA on June 30th
The Select Board issued four "Letters of Support" for medical marijuana businesses already and two of them have gained the necessary Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
But ZBA Chair Mark Parent strongly suggested he would not approve any more than two based on market projections for medical marijuana in Amherst.
169 Meadow Street, N. Amherst received Special Permit July 21st
And Alisa Brewer pegged the number of recreational pot permits that could be issued based on 20% of alcohol permits at three.
Either provision requires a referendum vote at our local election and either provision can be added to the ballot with a simple majority vote of the Select Board.
So at the very least the Select Board should place the limiting provision on the upcoming end of March local election ballot and if they want the least number of recreational permits, tie it to the number of Medical permits issued which may very well end up being only two.
And to limit it even further simply grant the two medical facilities those two recreation permits, which the state already seems to condone.
Since the revenue to the town is based on a percent of sales (2%) the tax revenues to the town stays the same if it's 2 facilities satisfying the market or 22.