Council Offers Full Support of Medical Marijuana Dispensary in New Bedford
Support for medical marijuana continues to grow in New Bedford, this time with formal support by the City Council for a dispensary in the north end of the city.
During Thursday night's meeting, the Council voted 10-0 in support of drafting and sending a letter of support for the proposal by Beacon Compassion Center to open a medical marijuana dispensary to the Massachusetts Department of Health.
Ward 4 Councilor Kerry Winterson was absent.
Beacon Compassion has proposed setting up shop at 914 Mt. Pleasant St., just off of Kings Highway and Route 140.
Officials said they are excited to move along with their application process.
"We're just really excited to move forward with this process, it's a great city and we're really excited to be a part of it," said Beacon CEO Catherine Cametti.
Councilor at Large Ian Abreu has been in favor of welcoming medicinal marijuana into the city as a source of healing tax revenue and job opportunities since joining the council this past January. He said it's about time city government listen to their constituents.
"This community realizes that there is a great need among our constituency here in Greater New Bedford and the Southcoast to support this industry and I can't wait to see this come to fruition," Abreu said.
While in Taunton earlier in the day, Governor Charlie Baker, a staunch opponent of legalizing the recreational use of the drug, stated he does believe in the merits of medicinal uses and that it's up to local communities to voice their own opinions.
"One of the things the legislation we have says, point blank in Massachusetts for medical marijuana, is you need the local community to either say they support it or say they don't oppose it and I think that, as a former local official, that's kinda how it should be," Baker said.
Beacon Compassion has already won over the Council and some residents, but their next task is to get Mayor Jon Mitchell on-board. Mitchell has long opposed any dispensary in the city, especially in residential areas.