Public Hearing - Proposed Temporary Moratorium on Recreational Marijuana Establishments

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm


In accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. Chapter §40-A, Section 5, the Georgetown Planning Board will hold a Public Hearing on September 27, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. in the third floor meeting room, Georgetown Town Hall, 1 Library Street, Georgetown MA, to consider the following proposed amendments to Chapter §165 Zoning Bylaws of the Town of Georgetown: 



Proposed Warrant Article language and associated Zoning Bylaw Amendments calling for a Temporary Moratorium on Recreational Marijuana Establishments:


To see if the Town will vote to amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw by adding a new Section 165-69.2. TEMPORARARY MORATORIUM ON RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENTS, that would provide as follows, and further to amend the Table of Contents to add Section 165-69.2. Temporary Moratorium on Recreational Marijuana Establishments:


Add new Section 165.69.2.     Purpose, and for this section to read in its entirety, as follows:


§ 165.69.2. Purpose.

On November 8, 2016, the voters of the Commonwealth approved a law regulating the cultivation, processing, distribution, possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes (new G.L. c. 94G, Regulation of the Use and Distribution of Marijuana Not Medically Prescribed).  The law, which allows certain personal use and possession of marijuana, took effect on December 15, 2016 and (as amended on December 30, 2016; Chapter 351 of the Acts of 2016 and thereafter, on July 28, 2017 by Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017) requires a Cannabis Control Commission to issue regulations regarding the licensing of commercial activities by March 15, 2018 and to begin accepting applications for licenses on April 1, 2018.  Currently under the Zoning Bylaw, a non-medical Marijuana Establishment (hereinafter, a “Recreational Marijuana Establishment”), as defined in G.L. c. 94G, Section 1, is not specifically addressed in the Zoning Bylaw, Regulations to be promulgated by the Cannabis Control Commission may provide guidance on certain aspects of local regulation of Recreational Marijuana establishments.  The regulation of recreational marijuana raises novel legal, planning, and public safety issues, and the Town needs to study and consider the regulation of Recreational Marijuana Establishments and address such issues, as well as to address the potential impact of the State regulations on local zoning and to undertake a planning process to consider amending the Zoning Bylaw regarding regulation of Recreational Marijuana Establishments.  The Town intends to adopt a temporary moratorium on the use of land and structures in the Town for Recreational Marijuana Establishments so as to allow sufficient time to address the effects of such structures and uses in the Town and to enact bylaws in a consistent manner.


Amend Section 165-7. Definitions and word usage. Sub-section B., to include the following definition for  RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENT:

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA ESTABLISHMENT - a marijuana cultivator, independent testing facility, marijuana product manufacturer, marijuana retailer or any other type of licensed marijuana-related business.


Add new Section 165.69.3.  Temporary Moratorium., and for this section to read in its entirety, as follows:


§ 165.69.3. Temporary Moratorium.

 For the reasons set forth above and notwithstanding any other provisions of the Zoning Bylaw to the contrary, the Town hereby adopts a temporary moratorium on the use of land or structures for a Recreational Marijuana Establishment and other uses related to recreational marijuana.  The moratorium shall be in effect through June 30, 2018 or until such time as the Town adopts Zoning Bylaw amendments that regulate Recreational Marijuana Establishments. During the moratorium period, the Town shall undertake a planning process to address the potential impacts of recreational marijuana in the Town, and to consider the Cannabis Control Commission regulations regarding Recreational Marijuana Establishments, and shall consider adopting new Zoning Bylaws in response to those new issues. Or, take any action relative thereto.



Full and complete copies of the draft amendments are available at the Office of the Town Clerk and the Planning Office.  Any person interested, or wishing to be heard on the proposed amendment, should appear at the time and place designated.  Persons needing special accommodations should contact the Georgetown Planning Department at (978) 352- 5713.


John Cashell

Town Planner for Town of Georgetown



Bill To:             Georgetown Planning Board

                        1 Library Street

                        Georgetown, MA 01833

                        (978) 352-5713


Publish:           The Georgetown Record, September 13, 2017.

                        The Georgetown Record, September 20, 2017.