MRCC

Grow, Gift, Repair

#MUNICIPAL #GUIDANCE: New Marlborough

After a citizen petition process, with over 250 signatures, calling for a temporary moratorium on marijuana establishments, a special town meeting was held on April 13 and it was stated that: “During the moratorium period, the Town shall consider adopting new provisions of the Zoning Bylaws governing the location, operation and effects of Marijuana Establishments for consideration by a future Town Meeting.” The article passed by an overwhelming majority.

In reference to a discussion on the moratorium, the minutes of the Planning Board meeting on June 13 clearly reflect the outcome of the vote: “Mr. Mullen suggested that the goal would be a bylaw of some kind for the next annual Town Meeting.” Presumably in May, the residents in New Marlborough will reap the benefit of specific marijuana bylaws as many other towns in Berkshire County have secured to date: Williamstown, Clarksburg, North Adams, Adams, Lanesborough, Cheshire, Windsor, Lee, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge, to name a few.

However, a poignant question was raised at the Planning Board meeting on June 27 last year: “What happens if there is no approved bylaw on adult cannabis use by the end of the moratorium, June 30, 2019?” While, that may seem unlikely, considering a recent survey in New Marlborough indicated 75 percent of the respondents were in favor of marijuana bylaws and 40 percent would like an “opt out” provision on the ballot, to answer that question, New Marlborough residents may have to follow the complicated process more closely, as it enters its second year.

Lucinda Shmulsky,

New Marlborough