Sub-committee considering ordinance to limit number of retail cannabis shops in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A sub-committee of the Northampton City Council is considering an ordinance to limit the number of retail cannabis dispensaries within the city.

Northampton City Council’s Legislative Matters Committee passed a motion 3 to 1 for a “neutral recommendation” of the ordinance to be later voted on by city council.

Proponents of the ordinance cite over-saturation of the cannabis industry within the city as well as the possible health effects on local youth.

During Monday night’s meeting the public was allowed to voice their concerns.

“I don’t know a single person in my social circle that thinks more cannabis shops are good for us,” said Susan Voss, a Smith College Professor and resident of Northampton. “I really would like to see Northampton be known for something other than cannabis shops…. I appreciate that we get tax money from them, but we have a great city and we are sending a message to our children that this is a normal thing for them to participate in.”

There are some exceptions to this ordinance if it were to pass. For example, it would not apply to business owners who qualify as “Social Equity Candidates” defined by the Cannabis Control Commission of the Commonwealth.

The full council will take up the ordinance on Thursday, January 19.