The Town of Framingham has decided to put on hold a zoning district to allow medical marijuana dispensaries along Route 9, next to Natick.
Tuesday night, Framingham Selectmen removed the proposed medical marijuana dispensary zoned district from the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.
But Framingham Town Meeting will still have a say on medical marijuana as Framingham Selectmen Tuesday placed on the warrant a proposed article to establish a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries until July 1, 2014.
“We’ve developed a bylaw but we’re waiting to see if it will fit with the state’s direction,” Planning Board Chair Tom Mahoney said last week at a public hearing on the proposed moratorium article. “This moratorium gives us time to wait for the state’s guidance.”
“We’d hate to accept someone based on our bylaws and then when the state bylaws come down we’d have to go back and tell them no,” Planning Board member Andrea Carr-Evans said last week.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been given oversight of implementing the rules of the new medical marijuana law, which takes effect in 2013, after voters approved a ballot question in November 2012.
Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin said the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) estimated the Health Department's rules & regulations may come in April, but the MMA was recommending everything be delayed until July 1, 2013.
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office struck down Town of Wakefield’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, ruling that towns can regulate, but not prohibit the centers under state law.
Such bans would frustrate the purpose of the medical marijuana law, passed by referendum last fall, that allows patients with certain medical conditions to obtain marijuana for medical use, the ruling said.
This is the course the Town of Framingham has decided to take.
Halpin told Selectmen Tuesday night that neighboring Natick was also looking at a proposed moratorium, like Framingham.