Needham Selectmen: Medical Marijuana Moratorium 'Makes Sense'
Board of Selectmen voted last night on a delay of the medical marijuana question passed by Mass. voters in November.
Medical marijuana dispensaries were approved in the November vote, and the law is set to go into effect within the month--but not in Needham, yet.
A moratorium proposed in an early January meeting would allow officials to put off zoning regulations for up to a year. The Selectmen voted last night unanimously in favor of that delay until March 1, 2014.
Said Selectmen Maurice Handel, "This is respectful of the vote that voters of Massachusetts took, and allows for adequate response from the town. It makes complete sense to do this."
The concept, officials say, is to wait for the Mass Department of Public Health regulations and guidelines about the law before starting to write comparable zoning for Needham.
"It's smart to have cooling off period, so to speak, to hear from state and hear from various bodies," added Selectman Matthew Borrelli.
The year-long moratorium would allow officials to address what they have described "as ambiguities, policy issues and questions" about how to apply the outlined law at a town government level.
Before the November vote, several Needham Health officials spoke out against the medical marijuana initiative. Gov. Patrick said he would likely vote against the ballot question. In October, Needham and Newton were considered for Locations of Medical Marijuana 'Consultation Centers', but were ultimately passed over.