Additional Q&A from Town Counsel re Marijuana

posted Jan 12, 2018, 5:45 AM by Jason Hoch
Town Meeting can vote a Zoning Bylaw amendment to impose a moratorium on retail sales. That use would have to be clearly defined (if it isn’t already). The marijuana law has a comprehensive definition of “marijuana retailer” which could be slightly modified to define a use rather than a person.

In case you are wondering, I have not ignored your last “quick question” of January 3, namely,

The regulations anticipate Marijuana Delivery Services. Does this mean home delivery to consumers? Can the Town prohibit delivery within the boundaries of Town? Does this allow Retail businesses physically located in other towns to provide products in Williamstown to Williamstown residents?

That may have been a quick question, but finding one of the answers was not. So, here is what we know. Yes, this does mean home delivery to consumers is permitted. And yes to your last question, retailers in other municipalities can deliver to residents in Williamstown. In fact, that was expressly required in the DPH medical marijuana regulations and there are, I am told, several medical dispensaries that deliver statewide. The difficult question is whether a town or city can prohibit deliveries within their boundaries. Neither the statute nor the regulations expressly address it. The law does prohibit municipalities from banning transportation of marijuana products, which I recognize is not fully on point. G.L. c. 94G, s. 3(c). In addition, there is the practical problem of how would such a ban be enforced. All vehicles making deliveries will not be readily identifiable as such, understandable as they will be carrying either product or cash, more likely both. Given these factors, it is our opinion that such a prohibition would be vulnerable to challenge.