2017-02-02 / Holden News

Planning board says hold off on pot shops

By Rebecca Humphrey

The Holden Planning Board is looking to enact a one year moratorium on the establishment of retail recreational marijuana facilities in Holden. Currently, the board is forming an article for this year’s Town Meeting warrant that if passed would prevent pot shops from setting up in Holden until they know more about the law on a local level.

The law, which legalized the use and purchase of one ounce or less of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in early December, will also permit the opening of recreational marijuana businesses in Massachusetts by as early as 2018.

“The legislation isn’t clear about what you can do to regulate them [recreational marijuana facilities] and if they can be prohibited or not,” said Town Planner Pamela Harding. “We want a clear understanding of what laws we have to work with before we develop a bylaw.”

According to the law, a Cannabis Control Commission will be responsible for licensing and oversight of all marijuana retail facilities. Once formed, Harding hopes the board will be able to better interpret the law and what avenues town’s need to take if they plan on trying to limit the number of facilities in the area.

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