The Board of Selectmen wants to go west for information about how to deal with the advent of legalized recreational marijuana.
On Monday, the board revisited the question of what kinds of local fees to attach to the sale of pot if and when a purveyor opens shop in the town next year.
Attorney Raymond Miyares is advising towns to adopt moratoriums on recreational marijuana — six months ago.
Miyares is town council for a number of towns across the state. He says the timeline for implementation of recreational marijuana is putting towns in the position of being "stampeded" with little chance to regulate it.
City officials say the vote on recreational marijuana was already taken and it doesn't need to go before voters again.
The City Council's Ordinance and Rules Committee fielded a petition from local Attorney William Barry requesting a ban on recreational marijuana establishments.
Now that the commonwealth has legislation in place to regulate the recreational marijuana industry, it is up to the Board of Selectmen whether it wants to ask town voters about banning production and sales of the drug in town.
The City Council will consider putting a referendum on the ballot to ban the sale of recreational marijuana.
Local attorney Bill Barry put forth a petition to ban marijuana retail shops. However, when he wrote it that was before the state had passed a reworked version of the law which requires such a measure to go to a citywide vote in communities that passed the question on the statewide ballot.
The bulk of Monday's board workshop focused on where a medical marijuana retail facility could be located, however, with no consensus, the members agreed to look at a draft bylaw and come to compromise at a future meeting.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed updated marijuana regulations into law Friday.
Voters had passed the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in November and since then lawmakers have been reworking the law, which included a six-month delay. After negotiations between the House and Senate, the Legislature passed changes to the citizen's referendum on July 20, which was then signed on Friday.
Eversource is backing out of building a solar array off North Main. Instead, the company is now pursuing a similar sized project off Partridge Road.
The Planning Board gave its approval for a 6.6 megawatt array on Partridge Road, near the Pittsfield border and the Berkshire Mall Road. The estimated $10 million project is going to be located near a 2.2-megawatt array on land Eversource owns in Pittsfield.
Two focus groups are being held: 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, and noon Thursday, June 15. Both groups will be held at the Coalition offices at 61 Main St. and will include child care and food. Participants also will receive a $25 gift card for gas or groceries.
By an overwhelming majority, voters at the annual town meeting on Tuesday approved zoning bylaw changes that create a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana businesses in town.
But it was clear that the option of banning retail pot is still very much on the table.
This year's annual town meeting is all about weed and weeds.
The two articles that may generate the most discussion at the Tuesday evening meeting come near the end of the agenda: Articles 36 and 39 on a 40-article warrant.
The Select Board on Wednesday night opened five bids for paving and work on the mile-long road that runs from Middle Road to the Vermont State Line.
Town meeting in 2015 had overwhelmingly approved borrowing up to $235,000 for the project as well as an immediate borrowing of $65,000 to address culvert issues.
A divided and conflicted Board of Selectmen on Monday voted its recommendations on a 40-article warrant to be presented to next month's annual town meeting.
The four selectmen in attendance made short work of most of the financial warrant articles, though a couple of the Community Preservation Act allocations generated some discussion.
The board's annual public hearing to consider articles for town meeting drew a nearly full house to the Board of Selectmen's Meeting Room. Several residents addressed the board about its proposed bylaws, and, in two cases, board members were persuaded to change direction.
Town Planner Andrew Groff brought the board a proposed bylaw for discussion that limited retail pot establishments to one of the town's commercial zones, the Planned Business zone at the north end of Simonds Road and on Main Street (Route 2) west of Stratton Road.
Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level so income raised from those sales cannot legally be placed in federally regulated banks.
So, what are towns supposed to do with the money raised from a local option tax now that marijuana sales will be legal on the state level?
The state Legislature has pushed back the timeline for the opening of recreational marijuana shops.
On Wednesday in informal session, the Legislature fast-tracked a bill to delay the implementation of recreational marijuana for six months. The move pushes the timeline back for marijuana shops to open from the anticipated Jan. 1, 2018 to July, 2018 - and likely even longer for the Berkshires.
The recreational use and "home grown" aspect went into effect last Wednesday, but there is no regulatory framework in place for the commercial production or sale of non-medical marijuana in Massachusetts, and the commonwealth has until January 2018 to implement such a framework.
Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Massachusetts.
But don't expect much to notice much of a difference, other than reading a few news stories or seeing some Facebook posts. While home use is legal now, retail stores won't be opened until at least 2018 and lawmakers have already toyed with the idea of delaying that timeline.
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is sponsoring a forum on marijuana and substance abuse on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Massachusetts college of Liberal Arts' Church Street Center.
The event is free and open to the public; pizza will be served at 5:45 p.m.
Dr. Jennifer Michaels says every patient she sees struggling with serious addiction began by smoking marijuana at a young age.
Michaels, the medical director at the Brien Center, joined District Attorney David Capeless Tuesday in a forum at Berkshire Community College urging a no vote on the referendum to legalize marijuana, which will be on the ballot in November. Michaels outlined her belief that the legalization will lead to more issues with addictions while Capeless said public safety wou