Councillors Say No Way to Pot Dispensaries Here

December 5, 2012
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The Revere City Council is looking to change the City’s zoning so as to block any medical marijuana dispensaries from locating in the city as a result of the approved medical marijuana ballot question from the Nov. 6thelection.

In a resounding vote statewide, voters easily approved a plan to allow medical marijuana to be sold to qualified patients at licensed dispensaries located throughout the state. The law takes effect on Jan. 1st, and Revere officials are hoping to keep it from coming here.

Already, dispensaries have opened in Cambridge and Framingham in preparation for the new law – though they cannot sell medical marijuana yet.

Councillor Tony Zambuto put in a motion on Monday that would change the City’s zoning table so as to not allow dispensaries to locate within any district of the City.

Already, Chelsea and Melrose have started similar processes, and it seems that although voters wanted medical marijuana, no city officials anywhere want the stores in their cities.

“This is strictly to protect the City and it’s needed to protect us legally,” said Zambuto on Monday night. “It needs to be done. We’ve been working with the Legal Department and Community Development. This is strictly a protection motion, but we need to do it.”

Zambuto said that by blocking dispensaries from the City, it does not open the City up to a costly spot-zoning lawsuit. He said that the law only requires one dispensary in Suffolk County and not one in every city.

Councillor John Correggio supported the measure, as did the rest of the Council.

“This has been brought to my attention by many residents,” he said. “We need to have a mechanism in place by January 1stbecause that’s when this will take effect.”

The matter has been ordered to a public hearing, but that hearing will likely not happen before Jan. 1st, and the law will likely go into effect before the City can officially change the zoning.

 

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