An Oak Bluffs resident is petitioning the town to relax its restrictions on marijuana establishments and allow a dispensary downtown. 

Geoff Rose, the owner of Island Time dispensary in Vineyard Haven, submitted a citizen petition to the select board Oct. 10 requesting amendments to bylaws that regulate the location and operations of marijuana businesses. 

Mr. Rose’s petition makes three requests. The first is to permit marijuana establishments in the town’s B-1 district, which includes Circuit avenue, Dukes County avenue and Lake avenue. 

“We know that the sky didn’t fall on the Vineyard after two-and-a-half years of operations in both Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury,” Mr. Rose, an Oak Bluffs resident, said in a phone interview with the Gazette. “It would just be one dispensary in Oak Bluffs and the security of it would of course be paramount.”

There are currently no dispensaries in Oak Bluffs. Town bylaws do permit them, but only in the town’s overlay district, which encompasses Windermere Road, Head of the Pond Road, Holmes Home Road and the area around Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Mr. Rose said that he is hoping to open a dispensary closer to the town’s business hub. 

The town would also receive a tax benefit, he added. Recreational cannabis stores are required by the state to pay 3 per cent of their gross revenue to their municipality. 

The petition also asks to set the maximum hours of operation for marijuana businesses at 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The town currently states that they be open only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Lastly, Mr. Rose is requesting that marijuana dispensaries be allowed in buildings with residential units. 

“Package stores in Oak Bluffs are located in buildings with residents,” said Mr. Rose. “I just think that we should be granted the same opportunities.”

At 13 signatures, the petition qualifies for a public hearing with the Oak Bluffs Planning Board, which will be held during its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. Any changes to the town's rules would have to be approved at town meeting. 

“I’ve spent more than 10 years making an effort to bring safe and responsible use of cannabis to the Island,” said Mr. Rose. “I’m hoping that the residents of Oak Bluffs will see that I’m a responsible individual and that I would bring the same level of responsibility to Oak Bluffs.”