By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The City Council and the Planning Board will hold several public hearings later this month regarding the retail sales of marijuana.
The Revere City Council will conduct a public hearing at its Feb. 27 meeting at 6 p.m. and the Planning Board will conduct a public hearing on Feb. 28 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the zoning ordinances as it relates to regulating recreational marijuana facilities in Revere.
Voters approved the law to make recreational marijuana legal back in November and it became law in December. But the state law leaves it up to the cities and towns as to where these recreational retail facilities can go.
Eugene McKenna, chairman of the Revere Planning Board, said he and others in the Planning Department determined the best place to have a recreational marijuana facility would be in the TED (technology enterprise district) district off the Lee Burbank Highway. A medical marijuana facility owned by the Wellness Connection is expected to be close by.
“It seemed like the best area. It’s out of the way and isolated,” McKenna said.
The revised ordinances for the city adds a definition of a “recreational marijuana facility” which is a “business that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments) transfers, transports, sell, distributes, dispenses or administers marijuana products containing marijuana and related supplies.”
The ordinance also spells out where in the city marijuana can be sold.
“Recreational marijuana facilities cannot be located closer than 400-feet from residential uses, parks and playgrounds including areas of critical environmental concern such as schools, buildings and structures used from religious purposes and public schools.
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said he hopes the state legislature continues to modify the recreational marijuana legislation.
“I’m extremely uncomfortable instituting the legalization of marijuana sales until the police can have a fully effective and scientific way to detect operating under the influence,” Keefe said. “I’m also hoping the ultimate decision of allowing legalized pot shops in out city gets put in the hands of the City Council. I will not vote to allow pot shops in our community.”