By Bob Katzen
The House 29-126, rejected an amendment that would require that a public hearing be held prior to the signing of an agreement between a host city or town and a marijuana business.
“Under current law a public meeting must take place in a community prior to a cannabis business applying for a license from the Cannabis Control Commission,” said amendment sponsor Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn). “However, that public meeting can and has taken place after a host community agreement is already signed and agreed to between the business and community officials. My amendment sought to require that the public meeting must take place prior to the signing of the host community agreement. This way residents, especially those impacted by the location of such a business, can have input prior to any agreement on addressing impacts being finalized. It makes the process far more transparent and consistent from community to community.”
Rep. Dan Donahue (D-Worcester), co-chair of the Committee on Cannabis Policy. opposed the amendment. “Currently municipalities are allowed to host, have their host community agreement meetings before a host community agreement is required,” said Donahue during the debate in the House. “The Cannabis Control Commission under this legislation will have the ability to promulgate new regulations … which …could include possibly the preference to have a host community agreement meeting before they sign … This bill is about setting the boundaries for what could be included in a host community agreement. It doesn’t deal with the processes for which a municipality will engage their community members in signing the host community agreement.”
(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment. A “No” vote is against it).
Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven No