The first applicant seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Watertown will appear before the Town Council Tuesday night, and the public will have a chance to weigh in.
The public hearing is on the Council’s agenda for the Tuesday, March 28 meeting, to be held in the Council Chambers on the second floor of Town Hall, 149 Main St., Watertown. Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m.
The applicants, Natural Selections, seeks to open the facility at 23 Elm Street, in a building behind the one occupied by A-Affordable Auto Insurance. The proponents appeared before the Council’s Economic Development and Planning Committee, which voted to allow the proposal be heard by the full Council in February.
In order to move forward and be considered for a special permit by the Planning Board and Zoning Board, applicants first need to get a Letter of Support or Non-Opposition from the Town Council. That is what will be considered Tuesday.
The Council can approve or disapprove for any reason, or even no specific reason.
The request calls for selling medical marijuana, which can only be sold to those who have a medical marijuana ID issued by the Mass. Department of Public Health. If approved to sell medical marijuana, officials from Natural Selections agreed that they would not seek to sell recreational marijuana without coming back to Town officials to get a separate special permit for recreational sales.
The applicants stressed that no use of marijuana would be allowed in or around the dispensary, and that there would be security at the site 24/7. They have 22 parking spaces and would serve an estimated 200 patients a day.
At a community meeting in late February, supporters of a medical marijuana facility opening in town said they use cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs that have very undesirable side effects, and even can be dangerous.
Opponents say the dispensary is yet another unwanted addition to East Watertown, and that it sends the wrong message to the youth of Watertown at a time when there is a focus on prevention of teen drinking and drug use.
Later this week, a community meeting will be held for a second proposed medical marijuana facility on Arlington Street. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Town Hall. See more here.
Read previous articles about medical marijuana dispensaries: