Springfield planning board discusses medical marijuana - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield planning board discusses medical marijuana

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Medical marijuana in the city of Springfield may be happening a lot sooner than expected.

On Wednesday night the Springfield Planning Board met to discuss an ordinance proposal that would change zoning areas to allow dispensaries to be built in the city.

The proposal was drafted by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

"They put together a team who worked on drafting a model regulation that is used by Springfield as well as other surrounding communities," said Philip Dromui, Deputy Director of the Planning Department.

The proposal has been tweaked by Springfield officials to make sure it fits the city's needs.

If a license for a dispensary is awarded, the dispensary will have to follow several regulations from both the state and the city.

"They need to be located in Industrial A Zones and in addition to that they need to be located a certain distance away from schools, residential zoning districts as well as residential uses,"said Dromui.

Dromui said the distance needs to be a 500 foot  buffer zone between the dispensary and a residential area.

One of the proposed sights is located off Cottage Street in the city's Indian Orchard section.

Katie Stebbins, the board's chair, said she approved of what the proposal had to offer.

"I like this plan. At first I was concerned, but now I agree," said Stebbins.

While board member Rico Daniele said he still has some concerns with the whole project.

"I'm for helping people. This product could help, but I still feel there are some negative things that could come from it," said Daniele.

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