Board of Health drafting Medical Marijuana regulations – meeting November 13 (Updated)

The Board of Health is taking a look at medical marijuana. But this time, the focus isn’t zoning, it’s regulating.

At last month’s Special Town Meeting, some residents voiced concerns over BOH advocated zoning that would allow dispensaries to abut residential zones along Route 9. Some questions indicated residents were unclear as to what rules the dispensaries would have to follow and how it would be regulated.

Now the Board of Health has drafted town-specific regulations. The regulations would impose rules for facilities that dispense and/or cultivate medical marijuana. Click here to see the current draft posted to the department’s website.

A meeting to discuss the draft will be held this coming Wednesday, November 13, at 2:00 pm. It will be held in the Board of Health Meeting Room at 9 Cordaville Road.

Here are some highlights of what posted guidelines would require Registered Marijuana Dispensaries to do:

  • Submit for review a security plan to ensure patient and community safety and eliminate unauthorized access to the premises.
  • Comply with potential business hour limitations set by the town (in consultation with police and community)
  • Hold an annual community meeting to provide abutters and community residents with an opportunity to comment on the RMD’s operating practices, policies and plans.
  • Offer a secure home delivery service to any patient or personal caregiver residing in town who suffers a physical incapacity to access transportation.

The draft also imposes a 500 feet buffer from a school, daycare center, public park, playground or any facility in which children commonly congregate.

Updated (11/9/13 12:00 pm): Paul Psinski, the town’s Health Agent for the Board of Health, corrected me about the use of the word bylaw.

Town bylaws require approval at a town meeting. The Board of Health has the authority to pass regulations – which do not require town vote or even public hearings. On this matter, they chose to publicize an open meeting on the matter to allow concerned residents to voice their opinions.

(Photo posted to Flickr by Neon Tommy)

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Tim Martel
10 years ago

I hope someone can correct me, because it seems that this draft regulation does not include any zoning restrictions whatsoever?

Tim Martel
10 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

I did hear that the Planning Board was deferring the drafting of the dispensary bylaw to the Board of Health. Given that the last such bylaw taken by the Planning Board to Town Meeting included verbiage like “not within 500 ft” as is included in this draft, I’d like confirmation either way.

Dean Dairy
10 years ago

Anyone who would oppose the siting of a marijuana dispensary should just go… um, you gonna eat that?

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