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Tue January 15, 2013
How Mass. Cities & Towns Are Handling Medical Marijuana
With the sale and use of medical marijuana recently legalized, some municipalities are imposing moratoriums on the opening of dispensaries, changing zoning to limit them, or banning them outright.
WGBH News asked 26 Massachusetts cities and towns about their reaction to the new law. Click the highlighted cities and town in the map below to see how they're handling medical marijuana so far. The actions are also listed below the map.
Barnstable: City is considering a proposed moratorium on dispensaries until 2014, or until ninety days after the State Department of Public Health issues final regulations, whichever occurs first.
Belmont: No action has been taken to date.*
Boston: Boston Redevelopment Authority recently changed Boston’s Zoning Code to forbid dispensaries without a special permit from the Board of Appeals. City Council is holding hearings on siting of dispensaries.
Brockton: The City Council and the Police Department are examining a proposal to allow dispensaries.
Burlington: Planning Board has recommended town selectman enact a moratorium until June, 2014.
Cambridge: City Council is considering a six to nine-month moratorium on dispensaries
Chelsea: City Council is reviewing a zoning ordinance on siting dispensaries.
Fall River: No action has been taken to date.*
Fitchburg: No action has been taken to date.*
Framingham: The city is considering zoning regulations regarding the siting of dispensaries.
Hingham: Town’s planning board is discussed a potential moratorium on dispensaries.
Lexington: No action has been taken to date.*
Lynn: City Council recently passed an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within 1000 feet of a school, park or residence.
Needham: Town Selectman are considering a six to 12 month moratorium on dispensaries.
Northampton: No action has been taken to date.*
Pittsfield: No action has been taken to date.*
Plymouth: Town council is now reviewing the issue.
Quincy: City is considering zoning restrictions that would limit dispensaries to the same zones where adult entertainment is permitted.
Reading: Enacted a permanent ban on dispensaries.
Saugus: Enacted a permanent ban on dispensaries.
Springfield: No action has been taken to date.*
Stoughton: Selectmen asked the town’s legislative delegation to seek a state-wide delay of the legalization of medical marijuana.
Taunton: The city’s municipal board has scheduled a public hearing to consider an ordinance allowing dispensaries in Taunton.
Wakefield: Enacted a permanent ban on dispensaries. Waltham: City Council is scheduled to discuss the degree to which the city can regulate medical marijuana use.
Worcester: No action has been taken to date.*
* Most municipalities that have not yet taken action are waiting for the state’s Department of Public Health to issue state-wide regulations before moving forward.