Towns Plan Zoning Changes for Marijuana Dispensaries
Sara Brown

Nearly a year after Massachusetts voters agreed to legalize medical marijuana, Vineyard towns and marijuana dispensary applicants are navigating the regulatory process, mostly focusing on where dispensaries should be located on the Island.

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Voters in Aquinnah Back Budget, Nix Marijuana Bylaw
Remy Tumin

Aquinnah voters approved a hefty hike in the town operating budget for the coming year and backed a spending package to help restore and ready the Gay Head Light for moving at their annual town meeting Tuesday, but balked at a town bylaw to ban public consumption of marijuana.

“Isn’t there a no smoking law in any public place?” said Juli Vanderhoop, who questioned the need for the bylaw. “Smoke is smoke.”

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Oak Bluffs Narrowly Defeats Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium
Sara Brown

Oak Bluffs voters came out in favor of making the annual shark tournament catch- and-release only, narrowly turned down a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and approved extensive repairs for town roads at a lengthy annual town meeting Tuesday.

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Oak Bluffs Narrowly Defeats Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium
Sara Brown

Oak Bluffs voters came out in favor of making the annual shark tournament catch and release only, and narrowly turned down a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries at a lengthy annual town meeting Tuesday.

The town moved quickly through some items, quickly approving a $25.5 million operating budget and a host of community preservation act projects. Voters also easily approved more than $900,000 for repairing about two dozen town roads that are listed in poor, incomplete or failed condition. The project still needs approval from voters at Thursday’s town election.

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Three of Four Town Meetings Conclude; Outcome Uneven on Medical Marijuana Questions
Julia Wells

Medical marijuana dispensaries could become a reality in Oak Bluffs and Tisbury after an effort to place a one-year moratorium on the dispensaries failed to win the backing of voters on Tuesday night. And the countywide pest control program is also in a state of uncertainty after voters in West Tisbury turned down their share of funding for the program.

Medical marijuana questions were on the warrants for three of four town meetings held Tuesday night. The outcome was slightly different in each town.

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One-Year Moratorium Proposed For Marijuana Dispensaries
Sara Brown

As Vineyard towns convene for annual town meetings this spring, most will be grappling with new bylaws in the face of a state law legalizing medical marijuana.

With ongoing discussion about Islandwide coordination over how to address the new law, five of the six Vineyard towns will vote this spring on whether to adopt bylaws prohibiting public marijuana consumption and imposing a one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in all zoning districts. The moratorium is meant to give towns time to come up with their own regulations before marijuana dispensaries can open.

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Town Seeks Temporary Marijuana Moratorium
Sara Brown

Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday agreed to pursue a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, giving the town time until regulations are handed down by the state Department of Public Health and Island towns can work together to decide how to handle the issue.

The selectmen agreed to have town administrator Robert Whritenour draft town meeting articles calling for a moratorium and a public consumption bylaw, which the selectmen will look at during their next meeting on Feb. 26.

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West Tisbury Considers Marijuana Bylaw
Remy Tumin
As towns across the Island begin to discuss the implications of the new state medical marijuana law, the West Tisbury police chief brought the issue before the town selectmen for discussion this week.

Police chief Dan Rossi said he would like to see the town adopt a bylaw that prohibits smoking medical marijuana in public places. The chief asked the selectmen to place an article with the proposed bylaw on the annual town meeting warrant in April.

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Marijuana Law Worries Youth Leaders
Katie Ruppel

As the Massachusetts Department of Public Health scrambles to write regulations for the medical marijuana law that went into effect Jan. 1, towns are preparing for their own kind of scramble amid the prospect of medical marijuana dispensaries in counties across the state. They don’t have long, Martha’s Vineyard Youth Task Force coordinator Theresa Manning warned the Dukes County commission this week.

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Youth Task Force Says No to Marijuana
Sara Brown

With Massachusetts voters being asked in November to decide whether to legalize medical marijuana, the Dukes County Youth Task Force has come out against the proposal, saying it would exacerbate existing marijuana use by Island teens.

“The Youth Task Force feels committed to opposing ballot question three, primarily based on the fact we don’t want there be more access for kids for marijuana,” task force coordinator Theresa Manning told the Gazette.

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