EASTHAMPTON — After months of discussion by the Planning Board, the City Council will begin its own evaluation of a proposal to allow, guide, and regulate recreational marijuana businesses in the city.
The Ordinance Subcommittee, chaired by councilor Salem Derby, will discuss cannabis zoning this evening at 5:30 p.m. A proposed ordinance was forwarded to the City Council from the Planning Board on Dec. 7.
The stated purpose of the ordinance is to allow state-licensed marijuana establishments in the city, provide “safe and effective access” to recreational cannabis, and “impose reasonable safeguards to govern the time, place, and manner” of marijuana businesses to protect public health, safety, and the environment.
Any new zoning ordinance must ultimately receive a two-thirds vote of the full city council.
The proposal that’s currently on the table calls for a 200-foot buffer between marijuana establishments and any school or child care center; for odor control; security measures; discreet signage, and more. Marijuana retail would be allowed in the downtown business, highway business, and mixed-use mill zones with a special permit. Cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs would be