.

Where Should Marijuana Dispensaries Go in Andover?

One proposal makes some suggestions.

File photo.
File photo.
If medical marijuana dispensaries and growers wanted to set up shop in Andover, where should they be?

That's what one article on the 2014 Town Meeting warrant will address.

Town Planning Director Paul Matarazzo met with the Board of Selectmen Monday night to discuss a proposal for designated districts in town for medical marijuana businesses.

The proposal maps out certain "safe" zones for the industry, away from high-volume foot traffic areas, schools and other places large groups of children gather, to minimize adverse effects to adjacent neighborhoods.

Based upon existing zoning, a marijuana business could go almost anywhere in town that isn't near a school, including downtown.

The proposal designates the neighborhood along Haverhill Street near the Andover Doctors Park; a section of town along River Road near Lawrence; and a southwest section of town near Tewksbury.

In 2012, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana statewide. Since then, several communities have enacted moratoriums on medical marijuana to allow time for zoning discussions.

"We did not invoke a moratorium a year ago... but we're in good shape going forward," Town Manager Reginald Stapczynski said.

The state is allowing 35 new dispensaries, five in each county. There are no current applications for dispensaries in Andover, but Matarazzo said they could come later.

"Even though Andover may not be pressed right away, we should be prepared so it’s on our terms," Matarazzo said.

Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has said it will not allow communities to keep medical marijuana businesses out.

Even though andover may not be pressed right away, we should be prepared so it’s on our terms.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »