City Council votes on cap for cannabis shops in Northampton
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -In Northampton, the city council voted Thursday night to put a cap on cannabis shops in the city, drawing mixed reaction from the community.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams when I was in college back in the sixties, dreamed I’d one day complain that were too many pot shops in my town,” one meeting attendee said.
Northampton residents spoke out at Thursday night’s virtual city council meeting, before the vote was taken to limit the number of cannabis dispensaries in the community.
Some cited health issues that can come with underage use:
“We have seen the data from Spiffy, which was gathered right in our hometown…The closer young people are to a cannabis dispensary the more likely they are to use and the more cannabis use that happens among young people, the more injury that occurs to their brain their hearts and their lungs,” one person said.
Meanwhile others urged the city council to stay out it.
“When you do this what you’re doing basically doing is creating winners for the people that actually own the cannabis shops in capitalism we have markets to challenge those businesses bust basically you’re protecting all the businesses that are currently in place,” another person said.
There are currently 11 cannabis shops open in Northampton, making the city one of the top hubs for recreational marijuana sales in the Bay State.
One person, who wished to remain off camera, shared his thoughts on a cap with Western Mass News:
“If there’s 13, 14, if there’s too many I think it will self-regulate. And I don’t think there’s any
problem with having 15 shops I think they’ll find out there’s too many when a few close.”
In the end, the council voted 6-3 in favor of limiting the number of cannabis retailers in Northampton to 12, the only exceptions that will be made are for businesses that already have a host community agreement and social equity dispensaries.
Northampton is not the first community to set a cap on cannabis shops: Amherst, Holyoke and Easthampton have also set their limits.
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