Pot Shops In New Bedford Still Months Away
Two recreational pot shops are scheduled to open Tuesday in Northampton and Leicester, Massachusetts, but don't look for pot shops to open in New Bedford any time soon.
Speaking to WBSM's Brian Thomas, City Councilor Ian Abreu says the Council approved a zoning ordinance in late September, and applications are now coming in.
"The Mayor is putting together a screening committee, and we'll be conducting a review and assessment of all the applications." Abreu added, "those deemed most appropriate, that really want to invest in our community, will be sent to the Mayor's Office for negotiation on a host agreement."
Abreu says the screening committee will likely begin questioning applicants in January, and those questions will likely go beyond zoning, hiring practices, and security plans. "Are you looking to invest in drug education programming in our schools, or are you looking to invest in other non-profits, homeless shelters, for example. Those things are not mandated by law, but of course, those thing s are very important when you're looking to come into a community," said Abreu.
Abreu adds, he believes New Bedford is ahead of many other communities in the region when it comes to locating pot shops within their boundaries.
He says once New Bedford selects a firm, that firm must then work out a host agreement with the city. That agreement must then be approved by the state's Cannabis Control Commission.