Here are three key points about the rezoning amendments Town Meeting will consider:
1) Types of facilities allowed
The proposed zoning amendments would allow marijuana-related establishments to operate in town, including shops that sell marijuana products to the public, facilities that cultivate and produce marijuana, and facilities that conduct research and testing on marijuana.
Onsite consumption would not be allowed in marijuana establishments, and there would be no home delivery: These businesses would not be able to deliver products offsite to consumers.
In 2014, Town Meeting had approved zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries. Apothca, Arlington’s first dispensary, opened last month on Water Street.
2) Number of facilities
The Redevelopment Board decided to make three licenses available for marijuana retail shops. The town will exceed the minimum set by state law, which requires marijuana retail licenses – in communities offering them – to equal at least 20 percent of the total liquor licenses. Arlington currently has five liquor licenses, with a Home Rule Petition pending to increase the number to six.
No limits would be set for the number of production or research/testing facilities in town.
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When deciding where to allow marijuana establishments, the Marijuana Study Committee wanted to balance the goals of setting buffer zones around schools and other facilities, with having enough places in town for the businesses to operate, Raitt said.
“We wanted to minimize the concentration of these establishments but also ensure broad distribution throughout town,” Raitt said.
Marijuana retail shops and research/testing facilities would be allowed in certain business districts (B2A, B3, B4, B5) and the industrial district. Marijuana production facilities would operate in B4 and the industrial districts.
Most of these areas are along the Massachusetts Avenue and Broadway corridors, Raitt said.
The proposed amendments would also establish certain buffer zones where retail shops could not operate.
In keeping with state law, marijuana establishments would not be within 500 feet of an existing public or private school serving kindergarten through grade 12. The town would restrict marijuana establishments from operating within 200 feet of public libraries and 300 feet of town-owned playgrounds and recreational facilities.
Additionally, two retail shops could not be located within 2,000 feet of each other, and a medical marijuana dispensary could not be within 2,000 feet of another dispensary.