As for locating next to a school or park, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which locating in such a place would maximize a dispensary’s profit. Even if doing so were legal parents would be unhappy, and it’s unlikely that a dispensary owner would want to spend valuable time dealing with complaining parents on a regular basis. And many potential customers would feel uncomfortable purchasing marijuana under the watchful gazes of a schoolyard full of children, which would hurt revenue.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every business will be on a busy road or every resident will live on a quite cul-de-sac. Some people want to live in mixed-use areas and developers build housing to accommodate them. Apartments typically serve this role and they act as a buffer between retail or industrial uses and neighborhoods of single-family homes. Meanwhile, residential neighborhoods often welcome a restaurant, pharmacy, or small store for convenience reasons.
In general, the desire to make money would prevent businesses such as marijuana dispensaries from locating near schools or in residential neighborhoods, and this would occur even without zoning. So while it’s understandable that many Massachusetts residents are concerned, they’re spending time and energy trying to prevent something that’s unlikely to occur in the first place.