Selectman Joseph Nowak, who has been an advocate for medical marijuana, agreed that marijuana could be a tool to battle the opioid epidemic.
“My feeling is heroin is so prevalent and kids poke up once and they are hooked,” he said. “I think kids will be kids regardless of what programs are out there … and maybe they will get that high they are looking for with marijuana instead of using heroin.”
Zieminski added that it can also be beneficial to those who suffer from anxiety or other issues they may take some other kind of medication for. It is important to him that he works closely with the town on what he assured will be a long and complicated process. He did praise the town’s new bylaw and said he could tell a lot of thought went into it.
“You have done a really good job of thinking this through and I commend you guys for what you have done,” he said. “Because you have taken a step back and asked what does it mean to the town.”
Chairman John Duval mentioned host community agreements that often provide communities that house marijuana establishments with monetary benefits and asked Zieminski his thoughts on what he would offer the town.
Zieminski said the current proposed agreement is pretty boilerplate and warned the board to be leery of any company that offers to shower the town with money.
“We are going to be giving back to the community and we are giving financial incentives as much as we can in legal terms,” he said. “People may come in and say they will make $10 million in the first year. Trust your gut. It takes six months to harvest.”
Zieminski said he is currently in the application of intent process for medical and recreational and has already eyed some locations in town that meet the bylaw’s criteria.
The selectmen took no action Thursday night (the meeting was not held on its regular night) but said they hope to see Zieminski again.