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