GREENFIELD — City officials are one step closer to completing recreational pot regulations in the city.
The Planning Board has created a draft ordinance overseeing marijuana establishments in the city, completing a crucial step in the regulation of recreational pot in Greenfield. The draft makes it likely that the city will have an ordinance regulating recreational marijuana when a moratorium on its sale ends June 30, though several steps remain in the process.
The draft ordinance regulates several aspects of marijuana establishments, including where retailers can be located and the total amount allowed in the city. The types of marijuana establishments, such as sales and cultivation, are also addressed in the ordinance.
The Planning Board began deliberating on the ordinance in March, after a draft was provided by Director of Planning and Development Eric Twarog.
The ordinance has several limits related to location, including distance from schools and zones in the city where establishments can be built.
Twarog said the city will have a 100-foot buffer between schools up to high school and recreational marijuana establishments. The decision by the Planning Board came after they debated buffers between zero and 500 feet over their last two meetings.
There will be no buffers between recreational sites, though, an option for the Planning Board, according to Twarog.
There are three zones that marijuana establishments of any kind will not be allowed: suburban residential, urban residential and semi-residential. One residential zone, though — rural residential — can have cultivation, though the site must be less than 5,000 square feet, according to Twarog.
The rest of the zones in the city would be able to have certain types of marijuana establishments in them. All establishments, though, regardless of type or zone, must receive a special permit from the city.
It was also decided that the city could have up to eight retail establishments within the city, Twarog said.
Previously, the state determined that a municipality can have as few recreational marijuana establishments as 20 percent of its total liquor licenses. For Greenfield, that minimum would have been three.
Now that the draft ordinance is completed, Twarog said that the council’s Economic Development Committee and Planning Board are expected to hold a joint public hearing on the regulations.
If no substantial changes are made to the ordinance, then Twarog said that City Council may vote on the ordinance in June.
If there are substantial changes, though, particularly if regulations become more restrictive, then the city may “have to start over” the process, Twarog said.