Amherst Considers Medical Marijuana Dispenary-Friendly Zoning

Amherst, Massachusetts could consider a new zoning law for medical marijuana dispensaries at tonight’s town meeting.

Under Amherst’s proposal, dispensaries could be set up in most business districts. But they can’t be located close to schools or homes. The town’s planning director is Jonathan Tucker.

“The Amherst planning board is very much in support of these medical facilities,” says Tucker, “They don’t really view them as sustantially different than a pharmacy in which you would obtain controlled substances under a prescription. It’s a valid medical use and they’re treating it that way in the regulations.”

In order for a marijuana dispensary to set up shop in Amherst, it would need to apply for a special zoning permit. Organizations trying to win one of Massachusetts’ 35 dispensary licenses need to show the state their proposals have local support.

The Town Hall Meeting is tonight and this Wednesday night in the Amherst-Pelham Middle School auditorium.

This story was reported and written by David Chang.