Framingham panel to study cannabis regulations
Jim Haddadin Daily News Staff @JimHaddadin
FRAMINGHAM — A task force of city councilors and municipal staff will study whether Framingham should limit where and when stores can sell pot before the recreational marijuana trade takes off in Massachusetts.
With Framingham’s new city government still in the making last year, town officials largely refrained from making policy decisions about recreational marijuana, leaving it up to the mayor and council to decide how to proceed.
The city now faces the prospect of recreational marijuana sales beginning July 1 with no local rules dictating where pot shops can operate.
While it’s still an open question whether any regulations are needed, City Council Chairman Dennis Giombetti said he wants city officials to put their heads together over the next several weeks to research the subject.
“As you recall, we’re kind of behind the eight ball a little bit,” Giombetti said, “in the sense that with the transition from a town to a city, the town did not take this up in any deliberative way because they were waiting for the city to take hold.”
Heeding a recommendation from Giombetti, councilors voted unanimously to establish a recreational pot task force, which will weigh the city’s options. Giombetti said he would prefer to have a plan in place to address pot sales within the next two to three months, at the most — particularly if the city plans to present a ballot question to voters in November.
Of note, two medical marijuana facilities already approved by municipal officials to open in Framingham would have priority in the state’s review process for recreational pot sales if they choose to expand in that direction, Giombetti said.
Among the options available to the council are imposing a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana establishments, capping the number of establishments