Grow, Gift, Repair


Marijuana moratorium
While voters had been expected to pass a moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments, including cultivators, retailers and any type of licensed marijuana-related business, an eleventh-hour amendment proposing an exemption for the smallest businesses took some voters by surprise.

“As a lawyer who deals with regulatory issues, I’m very interested in this,” said attorney Sanford Lewis, who presented the amendment. “I heard in the presentation that the concern was about large farms, which was a reasonable concern.”

To that end, Lewis’ amendment made an exception in the proposed moratorium for “tier 1 or 2 cultivation, craft co-ops, microbusinesses and home-based production of marijuana products,” all terms defined in G.L. c. 94G, which governs marijuana in Massachusetts.

Tier 1 or 2 cultivation puts an upper limit on establishments of 10,000 square feet, or about a quarter acre.

This limit, Lewis and others said, would help Shutesbury avoid some of the pitfalls facing other communities like Humboldt County, California, where large, industrial operations have virtually shut small businesses out of the pot world.

“What I think of, when I think of Shutesbury, is our herbalists and our gourmet cooks being able to offer a product from a home-based business,” Lewis said.

The amendment also established an advisory “cannabis business development committee,” but details as to what that will entail are still in the planning stages.

The amendment passed with a majority, and the moratorium received its needed two-thirds majority immediately thereafter.