Medical Use of Marijuana

UPDATE:  On October 24, 2013, Middlesex Integrative Medicine informed Town officials that it is no longer interested in pursuing 265 Foster Street, Littleton, as a medical marijuana cultivation site.  A planned joint meeting with the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, and Board of Health for Tuesday, October 29, 2013 with MIM is now cancelled.   On October 21, 2013, MIM had informed Town officials of their interest in that site.

On October 15, 2013, Planting Hope, Inc. indicated to Town officials that it will not be pursuing a medical marijuana cultivation site in Littleton in the upcoming licensing round for RMD (registered marijuana dispensaries) being conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Round 2 applications are due at DPH by November 21, 2013.  Planting Hope's applications for dispensaries in Barnstable, Essex, and Suffolk Counties will not propose Littleton as the proposed cultivation site, its representatives now indicate.  All three of Planting Hope's applications in Phase 1-- numbered 1, 2 and on DPH's list-- identified Yarmouth as the proposed cultivation site. 

On September 26, 2013, the Massachusetts Municipal Association posted an analysis of the applications on DPH's list, finding that 81 communities have been identified as potential dispensary or cultivation locations, although the city or town could not be determined for 17 of the applicants. Littleton was not listed on any of those applications. Under DPH regulations, proposed locations could change in the second phase of the application process.  More about the Phase 2 process at http://www.mma.org/economic-a-community-development/12405-158-applicants-in-80-plus-communities-pass-1st-hurdle-for-marijuana-license

The Town of Littleton had been advised that 263 King Street, Littleton (property owner Gerald Cupp), has been proposed as a cultivation site for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) to be located in another community. Project proponent Jonathan Napoli of Planting Hope briefed the Planning, Board of Selectmen, and the public on his plans at a joint board meeting on August 22, 2013.  Watch video beginning at 01h 58m.

MDPH Licensing of Registered Marijuana Dispensaries. On Thursday, August 22, 2013, 181 applications were filed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMDs).  See the list of Round 1 applications received by MDPH. Of those, three applications were submitted by Jonathan Napoli in the name of "Planting Hoping" (application contact person Kevin Kilduff, Esq.) for dispensaries to be located in Barnstable, Essex, and Suffolk Counties.  The voter-approved law allows MDPH to register up to 35 non-profit RMDs across the state, with at least one but no more than five dispensaries per county. 

MDPH website says, "Applications will be reviewed in two phases. Under Phase 1, dispensary applicants will be reviewed for, among other things, non-profit status and financial viability. Applicants must also report whether any member of their proposed organization has a felony drug conviction. Applicants who meet the qualifications in Phase 1 will be eligible to proceed to Phase 2 this fall where a selection committee will conduct an in-depth review and select dispensaries through a competitive process. The committee will evaluate and score Phase 2 applications based on such factors as appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients, while ensuring public safety." More at www.mass.gov/medicalmarijuana   

Temporary Zoning Moratorium approved by May 2013 Town Meeting. By a vote of 243 to 4, Littleton's May 6, 2013 Annual Town Meeting approved a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers. The Attorney General approved this zoning by-law amendment on July 9, 2013.  The moratorium is in effect through June 30, 2014, and provides that "During the moratorium period, the Town shall undertake a planning process to address the potential impacts of medical marijuana in the Town, consider the Department of Public Health regulations regarding Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and related uses, and shall consider adopting new provisions of the Zoning Bylaws to address the impact and operation of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers and related uses."

November 2012 State Ballot Question Approved. By vote at the State election on November 6, 2012, the voters of the Commonwealth approved a law regulating the cultivation, distribution, possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Question 3 of the November 6, 2012 ballot approved An Act for the Humanitarian Use of Marijuana for Medical Purposes (Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012). In Littleton, Question 3 was approved by a vote of 3,380 in favor, and 1,879 opposed.

Resources:

Attorney General approval of 5/6/13 ATM zoning moratorium

Text of Littleton Temporary Moratorium - Art. 21, 5/6/13 ATM

Medical Use of Marijuana - www.mass.gov/medicalmarijuana

Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012 

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