An important moment for marijuana in New Marlborough

In his letter Daniel Doern writes: "New Marlborough residents will soon have the opportunity to vote and choose how, or if, they would like marijuana businesses to be located within the town."

To the editor:

Marijuana has been a topical matter in New Marlborough, as in many parts of the county, since the legal recreational marijuana industry began to come to life in the Berkshires. New Marlborough voters, to give the town some time to figure things out, approved a moratorium in April. Since then, we have been enthusiastically taking advantage of this opportunity.

How so? The planning board and the board of selectmen wanted to make sure that, before any action was taken, the will of the townspeople on this matter was known as much as it possibly could be. They created a diverse committee of volunteer townspeople from all five villages to find out.

This committee was asked to do four important things: 1) Research the eight now-legal marijuana establishments and what impact those could have on the town; 2) Share that information with the townspeople; 3) Gather opinions from residents on what they would like to see happen here; and 4) Advise the planning and select boards of those findings.

Our months of research are now complete and the Cannabis Ad-Hoc Committee, as we are known, is ready to share what we have found. At a meeting on Monday, Sept. 24, at Town Hall, we will inform the townspeople of the range of legal marijuana businesses that could open up shop here, offer some hypothetical development scenario so we can look at economic impacts, discuss some of the regulations that will matter most to us, and present the town’s options—which range from prohibition to allowing all eight marijuana businesses—and ask what people think of all of the above. We look forward to an informative presentation and a robust, productive discussion.

New Marlborough residents will soon have the opportunity to vote and choose how, or if, they would like marijuana businesses to be located within the town of New Marlborough. What happens is our choice, so I strongly urge all residents to attend so we can all make a better and more informed one.

Daniel Doern
New Marlborough

The writer is chair of the New Marlborough Cannabis Ad-Hoc Committee