Wareham voters asked to approve marijuana regulations at Special Town Meeting, set for March 12

Mar 06, 2018

Voters will be asked to approve new local rules related to the sale of recreational marijuana at a Special Town Meeting scheduled for March 12 at 7 p.m. in Wareham High School. All registered voters may attend.

In November 2016, a state ballot question passed that paved the way for recreational sales of marijuana in Massachusetts. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission is drafting a framework for the oversight of retail marijuana shops. Those shops are due to open in July, and it is currently legal to possess and grow marijuana for personal use.

At Town Meeting last year, voters approved a moratorium on retail marijuana shops to allow officials time to draft rules governing sales. That moratorium expires June 30. April 1 marks the first day the Cannabis Control Commission must start accepting applications from potential marijuana retailers, cultivators and product manufacturers.

During the Board of Selectmen's Tuesday, Chair Peter Teitelbaum urged voters to approve the regulations.

“The surest way to have town overrun with retail marijuana establishments is to have this voted down,” he said. “Unless we vote to limit the number of these places and where they can be it’s going to be the wild west here.”

At Special Town Meeting, voters will decide whether or not they want to limit the number and location of retail marijuana shops. Under the bylaw, the number of recreational marijuana shops would be limited to three, tied to the number of liquor stores in town.

The state recommends limiting pot shops to less than 20 percent of the number of package stores. In Wareham, there are 13 package stores.

There are some state rules, such as prohibiting stores from opening up within 500 feet of a school or anywhere children normally gather. There will be four items on the Special Town Meeting agenda. Three will be zoning bylaws and one will be a bylaw allowing the Town of Wareham to collect a 3 percent excise tax from sales.

Wareham’s rules, if adopted, would require those stores to open in the industrial, strip commercial east of Depot Street and institutional districts. The strip commercial district is located just past Robertson’s Auto Salvage on Route 25 and extends to the Bourne town line. The institutional district is located near Tobey Hospital.

Already the town has seen interest from three potential recreational marijuana developers. All three have approached the Planning Department.

Director of Planning & Community Development Kenneth Buckland confirmed that, saying one potential applicant inquired about a new medical marijuana operation and another asked about a retail project with on-site growing and processing facilities. The third group included the developers of a long-gestating medical marijuana facility near Tobey Hospital to discuss their building permit.

No official paperwork has been filed yet.

Comments (9)
Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 07, 2018 07:37

Now we're back down to two establishments ? First it was two, then it went to three.. Now it's back to two again ?

Overrun and wild west ? Really ? What world are you living in ? So adding a methadone clinic to Wareham added what value ?

No better way to spread propaganda than to have so called town leaders instill ridiculous comments for their own personal agenda.

Again, you guys wanna turn away free money ? When these shops finally cut through all your bullsh!t I'm hoping that whatever tax money is collected from marijuana does not go to community development, municipal repairs and most definitely not into the hands of all these crybabies out here that are so strongly against it. Spread the revenue generated from marijuana to things like homelessness prevention and opiate awareness.

You don't have a use for the dispensaries in your town, then keep your greedy hands in your pockets and don't reach for the rewards.

All I know is when it comes time for town election, I'll certainly be voting for the younger and fresher energy...


Posted by: Uptohere | Mar 07, 2018 09:28

Its not being a crybaby to not want our town to slither any further in the crap hole and having this crap here will  just  pick up speed and stench. No amount of money will make this a good idea. And when it turns for the worse let's see what idiot still cheers it on.

Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 07, 2018 12:40

What rock are you living under ? Marijuana use isn't limited to dirt bags, degenerates and derelicts anymore... This isn't 1969 where pot is being smoked by hippies in a love circle. Marijuana is being consumed by people from every facet of life. I'm not trying to shock you with cultural changes, it would just be nice if you woke up and opened your eyes. Stop spreading toxic fear and hate.

You're worried about the town being a crap hole ? You sure got priorities.

Putting a huge blue space building on route 28 isn't attractive... But it's going up as we type. Letting slugs and thugs stay in hotel rooms is not helpful, but we got that. We have a methadone clinic... Is that healthy for you ? We have 13 liquor stores in town... I see your priorities. All you had to do was look around during this last storm. Entire town without power, yet every liquor store was open... Idiotic drunks a plenty, and you're worried about plant matter. Yea, you got priorities alright.

Tell the entire state of Colorado that the 500 plus million dollars they have generated since 2014 is a stupid idea and it will never work... Go call them idiots. Yup, it will never work.

I'd wager a safe bet and say that 500 plus million dollars would help out our state a lot. In fact there's quite a few pockets that could help line for sure.

All I can say is when this finally goes through you people that strongly opposed these dispensaries best keep your hands in your pockets when the revenue starts flowing in.

Stop trying to vote to take away the rights that the majority voted for.

Posted by: Archangel | Mar 07, 2018 17:33

"What rock are you living under ? Marijuana use isn't limited to dirt bags, degenerates and derelicts anymore..."

Now that is a brilliant statement to start off a pro-pot post!

Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 07, 2018 18:43

It was a cynical reference for Dr. Reefer Madness... You're welcome :)

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Mar 07, 2018 21:34


Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 08, 2018 07:12

The ballot measure, Question 4, outlined the taxation of recreational marijuana: the state sales tax rate of 6.25 percent, a state excise tax of 3.75 percent, and localities would be permitted to levy a separate tax of up to 2 percent. Altogether, marijuana would have faced a maximum tax rate of 12 percent, the lowest of the eight states that currently tax recreational marijuana.

However, policymakers, concerned that the original tax rate was too low, have revised the tax rates so they now total a maximum rate of 20 percent. The new law still subjects recreational marijuana to the state sales tax rate of 6.25 percent, but increases the state excise tax rate to 10.75 percent and permits localities to levy a rate of up to 3 percent. Governor Baker (R) signed the bill July 28th.

Even at a rate of 20 percent, Massachusetts will levy a relatively low rate on recreational marijuana compared to other states.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Mar 12, 2018 14:26

I've commented on  this before so will be very brief. In the towns I have worked in where it's legal, it really was no big deal. The people that wanted pot went to the store and those that did not didn't. They did not hide the stores, I had to ask the folks I was working with where the stores were, no big pot leaf signs or anything like that. The towns make a bunch of money off the revenue, the officials from what I was told made a big deal about it, were all against it but to date no towns have given the money back, $$$ is $$$. The only concern with me and them are the parents being careful with the edibles in the house, they look like real candy and the little ones don't know the difference.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | Mar 12, 2018 14:31

Remember these folks can't put the money in the banking system, because it is still against Federal Law. One official I spoke with tried to float the idea of passing a local ordinance that banned all concealed and non-concealed weapons. They use heavy security folks to guard the cash. Of course that balloon was quickly deflated as they were more in favor of keeping their firearms than they were against the pot.

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