SALEM — With four state licenses for medical marijuana locations scheduled for as early as the end of the year, Town Planning Director Ross Moldoff is suggesting the town put some zoning regulations for the treatment centers in place.
The state is going to issue licenses for four facilities throughout New Hampshire with certain limitations already in place, according to Moldoff.
“They are called alternative treatment centers and only four centers can have registration certificates, which the state will issue at one time,” said Moldoff.
The alternative treatment centers have to be a nonprofit business and cannot be within a residential district or within 1,000 feet of a school or other designated drug-free zone.
When the centers come in to apply with the state, they will also have to show that they comply with local zoning regulations.
“You are somewhat protected there,” Moldoff said. “You are not going to be overrun by these things.”
However, Moldoff said the Planning Board might want to look at putting zoning regulations on the books now for the alternative treatment centers, noting that there have already been several inquiries as to whether the town will be allowing the centers.
“We can wait to see what happens in other parts of the state, but down in Massachusetts, it has been a big, big issue,” Moldoff said. “If you look at a lot of those communities, they have ordinances in place to address these facilities in case some of them come in.”
Moldoff suggested the town look at regulations for the medical marijuana locations similar to those it has on the books for sexually oriented businesses.
He suggested the Planning Board look at an ordinance that would allow the facilities only in certain districts and set up setback requirements and a certain amount of distance from parks, schools, and churches.
Board members agreed that Moldoff should continue to work on a potential draft of a marijuana treatment facility zoning ordinance.