Planning Board to Discuss Pot Zoning Bylaw

February 6, 2019

LUNENBURG -- The sale of recreational marijuana remains a topic of discussion in town.

At Monday night’s Board of Health meeting, Town Manager Heather Lemieux told board members that their opinions on a proposed bylaw regulating pot sales in the town would be welcome. She said that even though zoning issues fell outside the board’s purview, she invited them to share their thoughts as residents.

“The Planning Board is open to personal opinions, since you’ve seen these (proposed) regulations, so you wouldn’t have to be speaking on behalf of the (Board of Health),” Lemieux said.

She said their comments could be made directly to Land Use Director Adam Burney.

The Planning Board recently reviewed a draft of the bylaw proposed by Burney. The draft, which has been circulating among town officials, includes a definition of recreational marijuana, specifies which kinds of marijuana could be restricted from certain establishments, and limits how visible any paraphernalia should be outside stores.

The issue sparked a short discussion. Board of Health Chairman George Edmond said he had taken a look at the proposed bylaw earlier in the day.

“Quite frankly, I think it’s a problem is that this is still illegal at the federal level,” Edmond said. “We live in Massachusetts, we live in Lunenburg, and under federal law, the feds can walk into your town and shut down these places, seize your property, and everything else. It’s just mind-boggling.”

“I think that’s increasingly unlikely,” argued Perry Jewell.

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing about the marijuana zoning bylaw at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Town Hall. Copies of the draft bylaw are available at the town’s Planning Office or on the Planning Board’s webpage.

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