Article 28 would freeze cannabis retail in the entire downtown. (Map approximate based on MuniMAPPER.)
A citizens’ petition, Article 28 on the Special Town Meeting warrant, proposes an amendment that will reverse zoning bylaws regulating recreational cannabis establishments, ordinances that have been in place since 2018, when passed by a more than 2/3 vote in favor at the annual town meeting.
Article 28 proposes an amendment to the current zoning bylaw to include a 500-foot setback for dispensaries from a pre-existing public or private school, providing education in kindergarten or any of grades 1-12, childcare facilities including preschools and daycare centers, or any facility in which children currently congregate, including but not limited to a public library, playground, park, athletic field or recreational facility, a place of worship or a town-owned beach. The current zoning limit for dispensaries is 200 feet from existing K-12 schools.
The proposed setback of 500 feet changes the zoning in an extreme way that would freeze cannabis dispensaries in the downtown area. This will eliminate future projects in downtown and much of the Route 7 corridor and may even affect currently permitted dispensaries. The Coalition for Sensible Cannabis Regulation in Great Barrington (CSCRGB) believes that Article 28 is poorly conceived and will effectively limit existing business and thwart any further cannabis enterprises in the downtown business corridor.
Article 28 is not recommended by the town’s Planning Board or by the Coalition for Sensible Cannabis Regulation in Great Barrington. The Coalition recommends voting no on Article 28.
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