Whitman bans pot shops, cultivators in special election
Whitman joins a growing list of Massachusetts towns to ban marijuana establishments. The ban in Whitman is comprehensive, banning any non-medical marijuana business.
Joe Pelletier The Enterprise jdpelletier_ENT
WHITMAN — Voters in Whitman chose to ban all recreational marijuana businesses in a special election Saturday.
Whitman joins a growing list of Massachusetts towns to ban pot shops: Raynham, Stoughton and Bridgewater have all banned recreational marijuana retailers.
About 64 percent of Whitman voters approved the ban in a low-turnout election. Eight percent of registered voters (850 in all) participated in the election, with 543 voting for the ban.
The ban is comprehensive, prohibiting all types of non-medical “marijuana establishments,” including cultivators, laboratories, manufacturers, retailers or marijuana-related businesses.
The ban will not affect the conditions of medical marijuana establishments in town.
Whitman did support the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Avon, Easton and East Bridgewater are set to vote on their own measures in April. Other towns, including Abington and West Bridgewater, have imposed temporary moratoriums while they study the issue further.
Brockton is currently looking into a zoning plan that would allow for pot shops downtown, away from residential areas in the city.
“I think from the city’s standpoint, I have the responsibility as the CEO of the city to derive that desperately needed revenue for the city,” Mayor Bill Carpenter told The Enterprise last week. “We’re operating with annual budget deficits on school side and the city side. We’re not a wealthy city. We need the revenue. But we need to proceed with caution. This is something I’m willing to work with the city council on.”
Massachusetts voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana by ballot referendum during the 2016 general election by a margin of 53 percent to 46 percent. The state previously decriminalized