Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Marijuana Gold Rush

Rafter's property still needs a ZBA Special Permit for medical dispensary

If the medical marijuana market in Amherst is considered to be $10 million annually anyone want to venture a guess what the market in our little college town will be for recreational pot?  Yikes!

One sudden turn of events that has caught town officials by surprise is the aggressive timetable for implementing the successful November 8th ballot question which passed handily statewide and was overwhelmingly supported by Amherst voters by a 3-1 margin.

As of Thursday pot will be legal to possess or grow for personal use.  So if you see grow lights glowing all night long at your neighbor's house maybe they will share the bounty of their indoor crop which will also be legal to do.

 85 University Drive.  1st to get SB approval but still needs Special Permit

Commercial sales however will be as regulated as medical marijuana, but if those regulations are not in place by January 1st, 2018 medical marijuana dispensaries will be given a free pass to start selling the product to anyone over the age of 21.

Amherst has two facilities that have garnered both Select Board approval and a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals for medical marijuana.

Another two have the Select Board letter of support but have not yet gone before the ZBA for a Special Permit hearing, probably because ZBA Chair Mark Parent telegraphed at the 2nd hearing that he thought two permits should be the quota for medical marijuana.

But now that medical dispensaries are being given priority treatment as future providers of recreational pot that suggested quota just went out the window.

 55 University Drive received Special Permit from ZBA on June 30th

Last night the Select Board discussed the situation and briefly considered calling for a moratorium on issuing permits or letters of support for recreational pot facilities but they don't want to interfere with medical marijuana licensing, which have now become hopelessly intertwined. 

Town Manager Paul Bockelman will draft a letter to state officials describing some of the unique challanges facing Amherst, a college town with the lowest median age in the state, and the Select Board will review it next week.

169 Meadow Street, N. Amherst received Special Permit July 21st

Meanwhile, starting this Thursday, smoke 'em if you got 'em.  Just don't drive under the influence (not that the state has a reliable test for that).

Having three dispensaries located on University Drive has UMass officials concerned


Anonymous said...

Where is the story of how hippies and their parents brought us the awful drug war, ruined the reputations of cops, made the US a prison state and led kids to harder and harder drugs.

These 50 plus year old losers deserve a story too and a boatload of shame. It is not just about how gen x helped end the war and mitigate all of the above.

This is on top of making housing unaffordable for their own kids.

Shame on the boomers, kudos to gen x, your welcome millenials.

All this over no big deal pot.

Dr. Ed said...

The town really can't deny building permit on the basis of "we've got too many already" when none have been built yet. Towns can, do (and Amherst likely will be) sued for this.

Damages are the lost income, and as it is a Civil Rights case, damages could be extensive.ass has bulldozed Frat Row only to be faced with Pot Row. Well, sucks to be you, UMass. Sucks to be you -- good luck leasing that land on the far side of Amity now...

Anonymous said...

Take marijuana use, add already distracting and transfixing smartphones. Insert both in moving automobiles. Result: more of us deciding to stay at home.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

How does one legally obtain this pot? You can have it but you can't buy or sell it. Is it legal to buy seeds? Doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Pot will be legal to sell everywhere in Massachusetts, so it doesn't matter the number the number of dispensaries in Amherst. Limit them and you will just have the local tax go to a Hadley or Sunderland dispensary.

Anonymous said...

I love the drive-up window! Potheads don't even have to leave their cars. hbg

Anonymous said...

What's the latest on the dispensary planned just around the corner at the Amherst/ Hadley town line (The former Sunoco gas station between Friendly's and Domino's)

I know the hotel and mosque (under construction) were fighting it.

Anonymous said...

I can honestly say that pot never helped any of my aches and pains back in the day, and I tried self medicating quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

This is all still illegal according to the Feds. Don't expect MA to protect someone if the feds come in and enforce their law.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, well the Feds got their asses kicked on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests so bring 'em on!

Anonymous said...

Folks, already been done in other states...no speculation needed. No need to pretend that there is something to be learned. What has been learned is that people have been wrong on this for 40 years and it has cost our communities and nation dearly.

We also know what happens when you restrict this - more drinking, heroine, cocaine, etc. The reason most people even know about these drugs is due to MJ prohibition.

Does not change communities negatively much and even according to the Federal DOT, it does not even effect your ability to drive much, it is not even measurable if you are an experienced user. Way worse to get 7 hours of sleep or less a night. One of the biggest local effects of legal weed is less bank funds to lend for local mortgages as all pot money used to go into the banks, now it cannot.

Anonymous said...

More faulty law advise from ed....his predictions never come true. What an ass!

Anonymous said...

Technically, Ed is probably right, but that is not how it plays out.

Most people do not realize that most lawsuits cost the initiator $10-30k to even start the process. The reason most people, or towns, do not get sued is not because they are right, it is because it is not affordable.

There are no police for most interactions, just petty and violent ones, people are left to enforce themselves using the court system and it is too much money. This is like if the police did not help you when someone robbed your kid's bike out of the garage. Of course they would, perhaps even if it was just a barbie doll. If you need to enforce your rights or a $1 million dollar contract breech, you are on your own, no police, they will not care.

So again, Ed is usually right, just people cannot afford to enforce their rights, so people pretend that he is blowing smoke, when in fact he is being ritchous and most others are just sitting by while others have their rights trampled. This does not make Ed the bad guy, btw, the one doing nothing, barely tolerating those that do speak up, is the bad guy - that is usually the on making fun of Ed.

Ed might predict that a murderer or rapist should be locked up, but he would be statistically wrong, as most of them are not caught (less than 50% BTW in the US) - but is he wrong for saying that they should? Is the person that accepts the rapes and says nothing wrong? This is the way most Ed convos go.

Anonymous said...

Sadly we can assume many more will get smoked up and drive. As Larry said it's almost impossible for Police enforce. Luckily for the motoring public Senator Stan will fix it at the State House....I know...sacarcism needs a special font....

Anonymous said...

Again, stoned driving is not a major risk on the roads vs. other more common activities like driving on less than 8 hours of sleep. This has been well studied and documented by those that run our roads.

Bear in mind - we don't even enforce or have laws against driving while stupid - at all. There are also no laws against driving in reverse as a female, let's be real about this!

Anonymous said...

Link us to one of these studies.

Anonymous said...

Wondering how many of the people whining here about legal pot drink alcohol? I'm sure everyone knows the incredible stats on the damage alcohol causes in society, from drunk drivers to domestic abuse. Funny how I don't hear any of you whining about legal alcohol, or calling everyone who has a drink a drunk, as you do with "potheads."

Yes, pot is legal now and maybe the world will calm down a little bit.

Walter Graff said...

The drug addicts come out of the woodwork. Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability and plenty od science shows this such as:

Lenné MG, Dietze PM, Triggs TJ, Walmsley S, Murphy B, Redman JR. The effects of cannabis and alcohol on simulated arterial driving: Influences of driving experience and task demand. Accid Anal Prev. 2010;42(3):859-866. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2009.04.021.

Hartman RL, Huestis MA. Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clin Chem. 2013;59(3):478-492. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2012.194381.

Hartman RL, Brown TL, Milavetz G, et al. Cannabis effects on driving lateral control with and without alcohol. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015;154:25-37. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.06.015.

Brady JE, Li G. Trends in Alcohol and Other Drugs Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States, 1999–2010. Am J Epidemiol. January 2014:kwt327. doi:10.1093/aje/kwt327.

Biecheler M-B, Peytavin J-F, Sam Group, Facy F, Martineau H. SAM survey on "drugs and fatal accidents": search of substances consumed and comparison between drivers involved under the influence of alcohol or cannabis. Traffic Inj Prev. 2008;9(1):11-21. doi:10.1080/15389580701737561.

Anonymous said...

Isn't still illegal at a federal level?
So if a bank gave a dispensary a loan, would they then not be profiting from an illegal enterprise?

Anonymous said...


Now does anyone have evidence on some dramatic amount of deaths or risk from pot....aside from being caught in the Baby Boomers's drug war? My sense is based on the reaction and regulation that pot is killing 1000s per year, but no one has any evidence and everyone knows better.

Dispensaries can profit, they just cannot claim expenses, so customers must pay enough to cover revenue, not just profit - all business expenses go to customers - you know like when you force wage increases, increase business taxes and permits, etc. Their vendors can too. But let's be real about this, everyone profits from drug dealing - the grocery store feeds drug dealers, the power company powers them, the huge contractor benefits (because the system is already over-regulated it is not a small local contractor - you voted on this 3 to 1), the school systems educate them, police police them. Geeze, Larry even profits by posting about them and doing ads for lawyers that will represent them in courts that will profit off of them. But no one profits off of this more than government employees, as is the new American Way.

If we are going to talk about dangerous addictions, let's talk about the portable phone or the plague of smart phone users that seems to be growing and no one is doing anything about it. Some idoits even give these things to people under 18 despite the strong evidence of how bad it is for their brains - literally congressional hearings saying such. This is not about society and safety, it is all about money, right down to reporting it.

Is there a way for pot users to do as much damage to society as the government and Baby Boomers on this topic? I cannot think of one.

Anonymous said...

OMG could you imagine the reaction to a study of males vs. females driving in reverse?

Could you even legally restrict them?

Rebecca Casa said...

I heard the permit for stores will be somewhere around $25,000.. But Idk if the person who told me know what they were talking about.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we'll just get all fucked up, man. People all over the world, like, you know... all fucked up makin' stupid ass moves. Dig...I been smokin like it was legal for almost 50 years!

Anonymous said...

Yes Rebecca, you got it. The model is for the government to be able to keep the artificially high black market prices, created through the acceptance of immoral imprisonment and action, but profit the difference between the real production price and the sustained black market. The idea is also to make sure that only wealthy and established business and government players can participate.

It is what the people voted for, weed is great, but this process is anything but American. The people should actually be ashamed for not doing it better and allowing a more free market for the benefit of the public and consumers.

But, bottom line, this is all about government revenue. All of it. Well part of it about screwing the next generation too as they have less opportunity.

You wait, within a decade or two, this will be the cost of opening any business as you get permission from your leaders. Actually, there are many aspects to opening a business, most government mandated or related, that make it cost this much or more to open before you even deal with rents, employees, raw materials....real costs.

Anonymous said...

"The drug addicts come out of the woodwork."

And I suppose, Walter, that they ("the drug addicts") will now join all the alcoholics because we all know that everyone who drinks even the slightest is a knock down drag out drunk, just as you purport to know that everyone who has a positive word to say about marijuana is a drug addict.

Seems to me I've seen you having a drink, Walter. So, how long have you had this alcohol problem. How many domestic abuse and DUI charges have you had to weasel your way out of, since obviously you drink and therefore are a down and out drunk.

And the next time you present us with a works cited page, would you mind putting it in alpha order?

C+ on the research. C- on the content, gross generalizations don't make the grade.