ADAMS, Mass. — After a sparsely attended public hearing Monday, the Planning Board approved a newly crafted marijuana establishment bylaw.
"I have no questions ... I reviewed all of the changes and I am in agreement with them," Planner Sandra Moderski said. "I think it is a good draft."
The board made some final changes to the bylaw late last month and agreed that retailers can only locate in the downtown, or B-2 district, if they receive a special permit from the Planning Board. They can't be located closer than 250 feet from schools, day-care centers or other areas where minors commonly congregate and are the population primarily served by the facility.
An establishment can locate in the industrial park by right and unless it is an independent marijuana testing lab. In that case, it would need a special permit.
Interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan said the bylaw amendment would add a new section to the town's zoning bylaws.
"There are several bylaw sections that address location criteria, operation standards and the information necessary for the review by the Planning Board," she said.
When the board opened up the floor to the public the small crowd was silent.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa, who had strong opinions about the bylaw and where establishments should be located, was the only one to speak.
"I just want to compliment everyone involved ... this has been going on for several months leading up to tonight and there has been a lot of positive input and a lot of give and take on both sides," he said. "I think what is being presented this evening is a well-worded document."
Cesan said the amendment will still have to go before town meeting and that the Board of Selectmen plans to hold a special town meeting in late winter.
"I know there are some other outstanding minor things that would be good to get out of the way in February or March instead of waiting until June for the annual town meeting," she said.
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