The Hawley Selectboard has set Tuesday, December 12 as the date for a Special Town Meeting to discuss and vote on two matters — one of which is fairly routine and another that could have far-reaching consequences for the Town. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm.
The first, rather routine, matter, which appears on the Special Town Meeting Warrant as Article 2, involves transfer of $10,000 from the “. . . Highway Department Stabilization Fund, or other available fund, for the purchase of a [snow] plow.”
The second matter, Article 1, involves the enactment of a Moratorium on local actions regarding recreational marijuana cultivation, production and retail sales until such time as the Town has an opportunity to study the matter and enact local bylaws and regulations.
According to a discussion held at a hearing on the subject held by the Hawley Planning Board at the Town Office on November 21, the moratorium would open a number of options for the Town, including . . .
◊ regulation of certan types of recreational marijuana establishments ◊ in the Town; and,
◊ taxation and Town revenues generated by certain activities ◊ associated with recreational marijuana
. . . among others.
As Planning Board Chairman Hank Eggert pointed out at the hearing, “The purpose of the Moratorium is to ensure that the State’s regulations, when published, are adequate to protect the residents of Hawley and to have the time necessary to write any additional regulations.
“If we do nothing, we’re stuck with whatever the State sends our way. If we adopt the Moratorium, we buy a year’s time to study the issue and determine exactly what we, as a Town, want to do.”
If no Moratorium is put in place by the Town of Hawley, the State will begin issuing Recreational Marijuana licenses as soon as April 1, 2018, and publishing regulations fifteen days earlier.
The Town Meeting Warrant is available for download HERE.