Banfield compared the idea of opting out of retail marijuana sales to opting out of alcohol sales, saying he didn’t think teenagers who grew up in Lincoln when it was a dry town drank less than teens in other nearby communities.
Karle Packard from the Concord Finance Committee was on the panel to give the audience a view of the potential tax revenue the town could generate from retail marijuana sales if it allowed them.
“There are predictions on how much the state could generate and they are substantial,” Packard said. “The problem is in an individual town there are so many variables that we really can’t predict what’s going to happen in an individual town.”
Packard said without knowing how many competing stores would be in the area, what the zoning would be and whether anyone would want to open a store in Concord, he couldn’t determine how much the town could make.
Taking some assumptions, Packard said he estimated the town could generate about $100,000 by the second year of legal sales.
“I don’t think anybody is really going to be making their decision on this based on tax revenue,” Packard said.
Outside of teen use, zoning seemed to be the primary concern of audience members. Select Board Chairman Tom McKean, who moderated the panel, said that because the Planning Board was waiting to see if retail sales were legalized before creating zoning for it, he didn’t know what zoning would look like.
McKean said he hoped the Planning Board would choose to put some restrictions in place for where retail marijuana stores could go. He also said he would like to see them consider banning the sale of edible marijuana products, which Evins said targeted children and could be accidentally ingested.
The panel ended with all parties encouraging all town residents to remember to vote on Tuesday, June 12.