Bagg told the subcommittee that in his view, a petition signed by ten percent of the city’s voters would be needed to put the matter of on-site consumption on the ballot during a state election. He said local voters must proactively approve social consumption at cannabis cafes and other venues.
The Easthampton Planning Board recently advanced an ordinance that would allow for such entities in the city, and the local legislation is now before the three-member council committee chaired by Salem Derby.
After Bagg spoke, Mike Cutler, a Northampton lawyer who helped draft Question 4 to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts, said he disagrees with Bagg. “The ballot petition process is a fail-safe” in case local leaders refuse to authorize social consumption, Cutler said.
According to Cutler, social consumption may be allowed through the usual zoning process involving the Planning Board and City Council. Around two-thirds of Easthampton voters approved Question 4 in November.