Man About Canton: Marijuana Law

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Did you know …

Because Question 4 on the November 8 ballot passed, retail sales of recreational marijuana are likely to commence in Massachusetts this fall when the state plans to make licenses available. The ballot question included a provision that prohibits municipalities from banning or severely limiting sales except by referendum. Massachusetts became the seventh state in the country to approve recreational use of marijuana. Twenty-eight states, including Massachusetts, have approved medical marijuana.

Many communities in the state have created marijuana committees to address the potential issues associated with the state’s vote to pass the legalization of recreational marijuana. Has the town of Canton set up a marijuana committee to explore local control and what is best for the town?

The law calls for 3.75 percent excise tax on recreational pot sales. Marijuana products will also be subject to the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and a local option sales tax of 2 percent, making for an effective maximum tax rate of 12 percent. Many critics of the law say that’s too low and won’t even cover regulatory costs. The law allows cities and towns to place “reasonable safeguards on the operation of marijuana establishments,” but they cannot, without voter approval, prohibit stores totaling fewer than 20 percent of the liquor stores in their community. For example, if a town has 10 liquor stores, it must allow at least two pot shops.

The law also allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes with a household limit of 12 plants. It also allows people age 21 or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

Supporters of the ballot question raised nearly $3.7 million while opponents raised over $1.7 million.

MD Holistics, Inc. has petitioned the Canton Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit and/or variance for approval to locate a medical marijuana facility at 1 New Boston Drive.

The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority plans to install 5.4 miles of a new water pipeline to bring water from the Quabbin Reservoir to Dedham, Canton, Stoughton, and other surrounding towns. The new alternate pipeline will be built over the next two years and will affect traffic along the route that will include parts of Canton.

Selectmen recently waived the permit fees for a proposed $85 million remodeling project at Blue Hills Regional Technical School on Randolph Street in Canton. The project will take up to two years to complete.

Canton DPW Superintendent Mike Trotta is looking to hire a new highway foreman at a salary of $67,000 per year, partly to address the stringent requirements of the EPA’s new municipal storm water discharge permit, which takes effect July 1, 2017.

The Canton zoning board recently approved plans for three 33-foot grain silos at Trillium Brewing Company, located at the Shawmut Industrial Park.

The LaStoria Trattoria Italian bar and grille at 577 Washington Street (Route 138) in Stoughton, which closed in July 2016 after 30 years in business, has been bought by Alexa and Morrell Presley, who plan to renovate the building to become a barbeque restaurant and jazz club.

About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, mostly oceans, while the remaining 29 percent is land.

The Canton American Legion will hold a “Chowda Fest” on Sunday, March 19. Anyone interested can contact the Legion at 781-828-9766.

Remember you live in a community. You have a responsibility to be accountable to your family and your community as well as to yourself.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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