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Marijuana subcommittee discusses drafted town bylaw

SOUTHWICK – The marijuana Subcommittee held their second official meeting on Monday night. Subcommittee member Marcus Phelps noted that their main focus is to form a town bylaw on both medical and recreational marijuana based on the updates in the state’s recreational marijuana law.

The state has developed a 75-page document that refers to the original law that was passed for recreational marijuana.

“There are stipulations in there that relate to a local bylaw,” said Phelps.

Although, there is a document, the subcommittee is still waiting for a more clear and elaborate response from the state about the law for recreational use.

The marijuana sub committee discusses the medical marijuana town bylaw they are creating. (Photo courtesy of Greg Fitzpatrick)

“Once we have that, it’ll make a lot more sense,” said fellow member Doug Moglin.

It is expected that the state could begin issuing medical marijuana licenses as early as April 2018. On Monday, the subcommittee had two drafted bylaws in front of them for review.

The draft the subcommittee looked at was the document that Phelps created which was based on the PVPC (Pioneer Valley Planning Commission) model.

The marijuana subcommittee discussed a number of things in the drafted bylaw, including the separation of sales in residential areas, especially with 74% of Southwick being residential zoning.

According to Moglin, the areas in town where medical marijuana could be allowed is in the industrial zone, which includes Hudson Drive. But, as the subcommittee continues to upgrade their town bylaw, it isn’t just about where the facilities can be, but how far apart multiple facilities can be from each other.

These are all points of discussion that the marijuana subcommittee will resume at their next meeting on August 22.

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