CPDC Discusses Marijuana Establishments

The Community Planning and Development Commission voted to include two zoning bylaw amendments on the April Town Meeting warrant at their February 13, 2017 meeting. Both articles are related to concerns regarding stores that would sell recreational marijuana. The first article asks Town Meeting to amend the zoning bylaw to prohibit any establishment from selling recreational marijuana. This article could be influenced by a potential ballot question to be placed on the April 4, 2017 election ballot. The ballot question would ask voters if they believe the town should prohibit these establishments. Sixty percent of Reading voters opposed the state ballot question that legalized recreational marijuana in last November’s election. It is presumed that Town Meeting would follow the will of the voters on this matter. It is up to the Board of Selectmen to determine if the ballot question will appear on the April ballot.

The second article would only be introduced if the first fails. This article would place a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments until August 2018. The reason for this is to allow time for the state Cannabis Control Commission to be established and for it to provide guidelines for the creation of these establishments to be drafted. Once state guidelines were available, The CPDC would then draft warrants to be considered at the November 2018 Town Meeting.

The Commission voted 4-0 in favor of placing both articles on the Town Meeting warrant. Both were also endorsed by the commission by votes of 4-0 for the moratorium and 3-1 for the prohibition article.


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