Waltham City Councillors have begun a review of city zoning regulations that could restrict where medical marijuana dispensaries could operate in the city.
City Councillor Robert Logan, on Dec. 20 said that the city's Ordinance & Rules Committee had started discussing the issue during a recent meeting. The meeting comes after City Councillor Daniel Romard, during a Dec. 10 City Council meeting, asked the committee to start reviewing the regulations.
Romard, on Dec. 10, said he was concerned Waltham had not yet undertaken such a review. Saying Waltham would make an attractive location for potential dispensary operators, Romard said he wanted to review city rules to make sure pot stores could not operate near schools or other sensitive areas.
“Given Waltham’s location, I just feel we are probably ripe or prime ... for at least one or more of these centers being located in Waltham,” Romard said.
The Attorney General's Office would have to approve the city's regulations, according to the Boston Globe. Other communities, he said, have already started similar reviews.
The review is in response to Massachusetts recently approving a ballot measure for the use of medical marijuana. Since then, proposals for marijuana dispensaries have emerged in Framingham.
The use, posession, growing and distribution, however, is still a violation of federal law.
While local politicians seek to regulate the centers, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health would have to approve medical marijuana shops and oversee them, according to the Boston Globe.
Medical marijuana has several medical uses, according to NORML, an advocacy group for medical marijuana. It can be used for pain relief, glaucoma or can help anybody suffering from AIDS, HIV or dementia, according to NORML.