Windsor voters to vote Wednesday on recreational cannabis outlets
By Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle
WINDSOR — A decision Wednesday could allow future adult-use cannabis retail sales in Windsor, establishing policy just days ahead of a state deadline.
Communities in Massachusetts have until Saturday to set zoning rules governing recreational marijuana retail outlets.
Voters will gather Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Windsor Town Hall to decide whether to add a section in town bylaws allowing cannabis businesses in specific parts of town.
The measure, spelled out in a 10-page warrant for the special town meeting, needs two-thirds support by voters to pass.
It is the only issue facing residents, according to Town Clerk Madeline Scully. It comes roughly three months before the expected advent of legal sales of recreational marijuana under rules set by the Cannabis Control Commission.
The proposed bylaw creates a “marijuana overlay district” that would allow various types of cannabis businesses, provided they also secure special permits and win site-plan approvals, according to the warrant article.
The district stretches along Route 9 roughly from the center of town southwest to the border with Dalton. A map of the district will be available at the meeting.
Conditions related to compliance with the state’s cannabis law and with the need for licenses, inspections and other requirements are spelled out in the bylaw.
The number of possible cannabis retail outlets in Windsor is capped at under 20 percent of the total number of licensed issues in town for the sale of alcoholic beverages.
While the most likely applicants would be retail businesses, the bylaw allows cultivation, testing and research facilities as well.
One thing retailers would not be able to provide: drive-through lanes.
In addition to the zoning bylaw, residents will be asked to add language to existing rules imposing a 3 percent local sales tax on goods sold by any cannabis business.
That change needs a simple majority vote.