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Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner asked the Community Development Board to sponsor the petition to the City Council for changes to the ordinance.

Pittsfield Considers Capping Marijuana Establishments at 10

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is considering capping the number of marijuana retailers at 10.
 
The Department of Community Development has proposed zoning regulations to guide where an establishment can go. Those regulations would cap the number of retailers at 10, three more than the required minimum.
 
"The state licensing process will be measured at first so I don't think we'd be running into that cap too early," said Permitting Coordinator Nate Joyner.
 
Joyner said the state requires an equal number of retailers as the number of package store liquor licenses — which is seven in Pittsfield. He said there are already three medical marijuana permits issued. Those two factors added together is how the department decided on 10.
 
He added that based on the ratio of establishments in California, 10 is on par for a community of Pittsfield's size. However, he added that Colorado's ratios are significantly higher so there is a range.
 
City Planner CJ Hoss said the cap is self-imposed and if the city does hit it, the department would bring that information to the board for further discussion about raising it. 
 
The Community Development Board will sponsor the ordinance change, which will require a public hearing and City Council approval. The board agreed to start that process Tuesday night.
 
The city already has medical marijuana ordinances in place. However, with the approval of recreational marijuana, the city is updating those regulations. Joyner said the proposal essentially deletes the medical marijuana ordinance and replaces it with a new one since both medical and recreational will be guided by the state's Cannabis Control Commission. 
 
Pittsfield will allow the four land use categories — cultivation, retail, testing and laboratory, and manufacturing and process. The proposal also adds a category for outdoor marijuana among the agricultural uses. 
 
Joyner said the establishments would require a special permit in the commercial and industrial zones. 
 
The changes also align the language with the terms the state is using to guide the industry. The Cannabis Control Commission is tasked with promulgating the regulations by March 15. Permits will be issued shortly after and in July retailers can begin selling. 
 
The industry will be heavily controlled by the state, giving little responsibility to the cities and towns. However, communities do have the ability to control and limit where the establishments open.
 
The Health Department last week said it is watching the regulations, mostly to keep an eye on any setbacks proposed either by the city or state. The department wants to make sure the establishments aren't too close to schools and parks.

Tags: marijuana,   ordinances,   zoning,   

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Boys & Girls Club Announces Pebble Beach Golf Raffle

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires has announced that raffle tickets for a trip to the world renown Pebble Beach Golf Resorts located on the  Monterrey Peninsula of California are now available.
 
The winner will stay in the world class luxury accomodations at The Lodge at Pebble Beach which features an ocean side setting overlooking the famed 18th hole of The Pebble Bach Golf Links. The prize package includes one round for two of golf at the Pebble Beach Golf Links, and one round for two at Spyglass Hill Golf Course.
 
The Pebble Beach Course is recognized as one of the most beautiful courses in the world as it hugs the coastline and opens up to the Pacific Ocean and was the host of this year’s U.S. Open Championship.
 
The Spyglass Hill course is one of the most respected and revered courses in the world with views of the ocean and the natural beauty of the DeMonte Forest. The prize package includes up to $1,000 for airfare.  
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