MATTAPOISETT — A day after special town meeting approved moratoriums barring recreational and medical marijuana establishments from being permitted in Mattapoisett, Town Administrator Michael Gagne told the selectmen the plans for step two: Regulations for these types of businesses by Dec. 31, when the moratoriums expire.
Gagne said he will sit down soon with town planner Mary Crain to form what he would like to be two committees with expert advisers ranging from Planning Board members to the police chief.
He said there should be one committee to study recreational marijuana regulations and another to study controls on medical marijuana treatment facilities. "They are different issues," he said. "They require individual attention."
Selectman Jordan Collyer said a chart establishing a timeline for the process should also be developed, "similar to the town budget process."
Gagne said because the Planning Board's next regular meeting isn't until March, he would prefer scheduling a work session with that panel earlier. The new regulations will need to be ready for a special town meeting vote in September to allow time for the state attorney general to review and approve it by the end of 2018.
The state's new regulations on recreational marijuana establishments will be released March 15, and permit applications will be accepted as of April 1. If town zoning does not have specific bylaw controls by the latter date, these types of businesses will be an allowed use automatically. The moratorium freezes the requirement to accept such permits while the town works to form its own related bylaw.
In other action, the board reviewed the results of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging's 2017 Community Survey, which details that 45 percent of the town's residents are age 55 or older and 68 percent are retirees. The biggest concerns are the lack of transportation options and the ability to remain in one's home. COA officials said their solution will be a strategic plan that better educates local seniors about what is available under both issues.