SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Southampton held a special town meeting Tuesday night to decide on a temporary moratorium on selling recreational marijuana. The town approved a temporary moratorium on opening any establishments that sell recreational marijuana.
Even though Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana more than a year ago, there’s uncertainty in Southampton as to when pot sales will be legal.
Southampton voted to ammend the town’s zoning bylaw to impose a temporary moritorium on Recreational pot-shops in town.
The measure passed by the required two-thirds majority. During moratorium, Southampton addressed the potential impacts of recreational marijuana on the town.
The moratorium will be in place until the end of the year, but could be ended sooner. A moratorium in the town of Southampton would not completely ban recreational marijuana use, but would instead put a temporary hold on legal pot sales.
Town’s planning board and board of health asked for the moratorium to give them time to review possible zoning or law changes.
“This is just something to give the planning board some time to get some legal advice to do that and it is not by any means a permanent moratorium or ban on recreational establishments,” Town Administrator Edward Gibson told 22News.
Gibson told 22News moratorium opponents fear the delay would cause potential pot shop owners to open their businesses elsewhere.
New England Hydroponics Assistant Manager Arlo Butler believes the moratorium will benefit the town and shops.
“They’re going to be able to step back, vet the organizations coming in and make sure that the money goes in the right direction for the town and that everybody prospers from the mutual agreements,” Butler said.