Springfield drafts rules for retail pot sales

June 27, 2018 | G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – Cannabis lounges, drive-up windows and mobile marijuana trucks are among the aspects of recreational marijuana sales that will not be allowed in the city of Springfield.

There would be at least 10 marijuana retailers and they would not be allowed in residential neighborhoods, if the proposed regulations are adopted.

Each marijuana store would have to be awarded a special permit and have a Host Community Agreement with the city.

The draft of the city’s rules and regulations governing the recreational sale of marijuana are detailed and describe nearly every aspect of the proposed retail business.

The city has a moratorium on recreational sales until Sept. 30.

He told Reminder Publications that he would like to have the final regulations in place “ready to go” before Sept. 30.

He noted the city is still waiting for the Commonwealth to finish its work on the rules and rgeulations.

Sarno added there is still concern how the banking aspect for the businesses would be handled, as federal regulations would prohibit banks from working with the businesses.

Sarno was publicly in favor of medial marajiuana dispensories, but has been on record as against recreational marijuana.Since Springfield voters approved the measure, though, Sarno said if the rcreational storees “run a good business, fine.”

The mayor announced last week an Internal Review Group is working on the city’s regulations. The group includes Health Director Helen Caulton-Harris, Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Deputy Director of Planning Phil Dromey, Code Enforcement Commissioner Steve Desilets, Department of Public Worlks Director Chris Cignoli, and Associate City Solicitor Tashena Davis from the City’s Law Department.

The following are various conditions of the proposed regulations:

• Adult Use Marijuana Establishments are encouraged to utilize existing buildings, where possible.

•  No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment shall be located within 500 feet of pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades one through twelve, in operation at the time of application for a special permit. Distance shall be measured in a straight line from the nearest point of the property line in question to the nearest point of the property line where the  Adult Use Marijuana Establishment is or will be located. In any case where the measurement is determined to be in question, the City Council may require verification of distances by a Registered Land Surveyor.

• No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment shall be located inside a building containing residential units, including transient housing such as lodging houses, group homes, transient housing, motels, hotels and dormitories.

• No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment shall be located within 500 feet of a residence, a building containing residences, (including commercial residential uses such as hotels, motels, lodging houses, etc.) or a residential zoning district.

• No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment shall be located within 500 feet of another Adult Use Marijuana Establishment.

• No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment is permitted to utilize or provide a drive-up service window.

• The number of Adult Use Marijuana Establishments permitted to be located within the city of Springfield shall not exceed 20 percent of the number of licenses issued within the city for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages, not to be drunk on the premises, where sold under Chapter 138 of the General Laws. For the purposes of determining this number, any fraction shall be rounded up to the next highest whole number.

• Any type of Adult Use Marijuana Establishment may only be involved in the uses permitted by its definition and may not include other businesses or services.

• No Special Permit shall be granted without first having an executed Host Community Agreement (HCA) with the city of Springfield.

•No marijuana shall be smoked, eaten or otherwise consumed or ingested within and/or on the premises.

• No Adult Use Marijuana Establishment may commence operation or apply for a building permit prior to its receipt of all required permits and approvals including, but not limited to, it’s Final License from the Cannabis Control Commission.

• Special Permits shall be issued for an initial period of three years. If there are no violations and/or breaches of this Section or conditions of the Special Permit during that time frame, the Special Permit shall be automatically renewed.

• Special Permits shall be issued for a specific parcel.

• Special Permits shall be non-transferable to another Adult Use Marijuana Establishment operator, owner or parcel.

• The approval of a Special Permit for any Adult Use Marijuana Establishment is up to the discretion of the Springfield City Council and will not be based automatically on the order in which applications have been submitted but rather the Council will be making their determinations based on selecting the Adult Use Marijuana Establishment that it Finds are in the best interests of the City and best comply with the standards and intent of this Ordinance.

The complete draft is on the city’s website at https://www.springfield-ma.gov/planning/fileadmin/Planning_files/Planning_Board_Meeting_Dates/Adult_Use_Zoning_Draft_5_31_18.pdf.

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