North Andover eyes vote over pot sales
NORTH ANDOVER — Selectmen may vote Monday to call a Special Town Meeting to address commercial marijuana use in town.
The selectmen meeting agenda for Monday indicates the board will discuss a Special Town Meeting and possible warrant articles.
In the past few weeks, citizen petitions to call a Town Meeting have been circulating in town.
A group called Citizens for a Drug Free North Andover filed two citizen petitions in November to ban commercial marijuana establishments from the town.
The group’s petition included signatures from former Selectman Wendy Wakeman, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance board member Paul Craney and current Selectman Rosemary Smedile.
Town Clerk Joyce Bradshaw said the petitions include enough signatures to be included on either an annual Town Meeting or a Special Town Meeting warrant.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Innovation Works — the group behind the proposal for a cannabis growing and research facility at 1600 Osgood St. — has been gathering signatures for its own petition calling for a Special Town Meeting.
That petition includes an article authorizing the town manager and selectmen to “negotiate and execute” a host community agreement with Massachusetts Innovation Works. As of Friday, the petition had not been formally filed with the town. Once a petition calling for a Special Town Meeting is filed, the meeting must be held no later than 45 days after selectmen receive the request, according to the secretary of state’s website.
Selectmen began talking about whether to call a Special Town Meeting in November, when Town Counsel Suzanne Egan advised the board that the current moratorium on recreational marijuana — in place until November 2018 — may not be sufficient protection against retail establishments, according to one state official.
“Towns that want to prohibit certain marijuana establishments should do so