Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


August 29, 2013

Proposed marijuana clinic takes first step

Andover remains possible site for dispensary


Edwards began talking to town officials in May, catching some people by surprise, even though there had been discussion about putting a moratorium on the May Town Meeting warrant.

However, that never happened and now Andover officials are trying to decide whether to hold a Special Town Meeting this fall, which could include a vote on a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Selectmen Chairman Alex Vispoli said he is working with the town manager and Finance Committee to determine if a Special Town Meeting will be needed to spend $375,000 in state aid for schools that wasn’t anticipated in the 2014 budget.

“We’ll decide in September if a Special Town Meeting is necessary,” Vispoli said. “If we do have a fall Special Town Meeting, the town manager will recommend that (a moratorium) be put on the warrant.”

The moratorium, if approved by Town Meeting voters, would need approval from the state attorney general.

The attorney general’s office has approved several temporary moratoriums, including some in the Merrimack Valley, to give communities time to rework their bylaws to create zones or districts for marijuana dispensaries.

Edwards said he doesn’t want to force a marijuana dispensary on a town that doesn’t want one.

“We are trying very hard to find the best fit,” he said. “We are trying not to force this down somebody’s throat, even if we have the right to site it somewhere.”

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