Opposing viewpoints continue to stir the pot in local ban, zoning debate

📸 Charlton legal counsel Cosgrove speaks during Wednesday night’s continuation of the Annual Town Meeting. Charlton TV screengrab.
By Anya Grondalski
Citizen Chronicle Intern

CHARLTON — Adult-use recreational marijuana establishments will continue to be permitted in town after Annual Town Meeting Warrant Article 24 was defeated by a 76-53 vote on Wednesday night.

Charlton reconvened their Annual Town Meeting on Wednesday night, a continuation of their first meeting from May 20 where, amidst controversy, only Articles 1 through 18 were voted upon. During Wednesday night’s continuation, the town discussed the remaining ten articles, with most of them pertaining to zoning and revisited the hot topic of marijuana in Charlton. Article 24 sought to ban recreational marijuana from Charlton completely. The Board of Selectmen shared that they did not support the motion because the town had already underwent one part of the two-step process.  The citizens did not endorse the ballot question at the annual town elections.

Mike Mitchell, a Burlingame Road resident, spoke out in saying, “Personally, I support marijuana products. I also understand why this amendment is probably here because people are afraid of big business. I’ve seen what big business can do and I’m a little concerned about that. I wouldn’t be crying if it was banned in this town, I can always just drive ten minutes to get whatever I need.”

The marijuana debate began in May 2018 when the Board of Selectman approved of a community host agreement with Valley Green Grow to operate a marijuana grow facility at 44 Old Worcester Road (Charlton Orchards).

Selectman have signed a number of community host agreements. The Planning Board, however, has voiced concerns about where the various types of marijuana businesses would be allowed. Currently, the project is in land court, after more than one year of push and pull with Charlton citizens.

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