Last night, residents brought forward citizens petitions on Medical Marijuana bylaws. The Board of Selectmen agreed to reopen the Warrant to add the articles for the Annual Town Meeting.
An article to keep dispensaries 1,000 feet from schools and abutters is partly aimed at stopping the dispensary proposed at 255 Turnpike Road.
Chair John Rooney warned that ship may have already sailed.
CommCan has already filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Therefore, Rooney didn’t believe the bylaw could apply retroactively. But he admitted that was outside of his wheelhouse.
Petitioner Kevin Hoolihan indicated he is hoping that since the project is yet to be approved, revised, retroactive, bylaws can apply.
Meanwhile, Selectman Paul Cimino did assure the public that the applicant has kept its pledge to research alternative sites in town.
Unfortunately, they have yet to find another location that works. Cimino said they’ve even received some invitations. But so far, properties were outside of the current zoning or had “other deficiencies”.
Hoolahan said his articles aren’t just about location.
One “forward looking” article is in light of potential state legalization of recreational use “which scares the living daylights out of me”. The bylaw would limit zoned dispensaries to medical only.
Southborough Wicked Local also covered the meeting and revealed that a third restriction would limit the hours to 8:00 am – 2:30 pm or by appointment.
Cimino remarked that the restrictive location, especially the buffer to residences, was what Special Town Meeting rejected in 2013. He was concerned about its likelihood of success.
Selectman Dan Kolenda disagreed:
I’m quite confident you’re going to have a much different group of citizens joining for this particular issue.
Rooney informed the petitioners, that they have more steps to take before they can present the articles at Town Meeting. Because they are requesting changes to zoning bylaws, they need to hold public hearings through the Planning Board.