, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 4, 2013

Councilors push for pause on 'pot farms'


With a first reading in January and a vote in February, the moratorium would likely come too late to do anything about the prospective medical marijuana cultivation facilities interested in coming to Amesbury. The Department of Public Health is expected to issue their licenses by the end of January, and if approved, the facilities could begin setting up shop right away.

By holding a special meeting tonight to take care of the first reading, the City Council will be able to vote on the medical marijuana moratorium before the end of the year and resolve the issue one way or the other well before the DPH licenses are issued.

There are two organizations known to be interested in establishing cultivation facilities in Amesbury. One is Alternative Therapies Group Inc., which is a Newburyport-based non-profit looking into a property on South Hunt Road, and the other is Green Heart Health and Pharmaceuticals, which is reportedly looking at a property at 10 Industrial Way.

Both groups have indicated that they have no plans to dispense medical marijuana from their facilities and are looking to open separate dispensaries elsewhere. McClure noted that there is no legal distinction between dispensaries and cultivation facilities, however, so there’s no guarantee that the facilities couldn’t begin dispensing down the line.

One potential pitfall the bill faces is whether or not enough councilors show up at tonight’s meeting to meet quorum. McClure said that Kelcourse and McMilleon both told her they’d be there, but that Bob Gilday said he couldn’t make it. If five councilors aren’t in attendance, then the first reading can’t be held and the bill would likely have to wait until after the new year.

If the first reading does go ahead as planned, McClure said there would likely need to be another special meeting scheduled to hold the vote, and under open meeting law the earliest that could happen is Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Special Features