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Mitchell: Marijuana Moratorium ‘Perfectly Sensible’

Mayor Jon Mitchell delivers his Inaugural Address as he begins his 3rd term in office |Greg Desrosiers/TSM
Mayor Jon Mitchell delivers his Inaugural Address as he begins his 3rd term in office |Greg Desrosiers/TSM

On Thursday, the New Bedford City Council took no action on Mayor Jon Mitchell’s proposal for a moratorium on recreational marijuana sales in the city until September of 2018.

This following last week’s Committee on Ordinances meeting, in which the moratorium was voted down by that body as well.

Speaking at the groundbreaking for the new boutique hotel coming to downtown New Bedford, Mayor Mitchell told WBSM News a moratorium is “perfectly sensible.”

“I think people need to understand what the moratorium was,” Mitchell said. “It was a temporary measure while waiting for the state to put their regulations in place, so that we don’t have this land rush for marijuana dispensaries in any part of the city.”

City Councilors cited the creation of the Committee on Zoning and Cannabis, charged with creating zoning regulations for where recreational marijuana dispensaries can be located, as one of the reasons why they don’t need to enact a moratorium.

Mitchell said the trend across the state is actually to put a moratorium in place.

“Springfield has done it. A number of other cities have done it. Many, many towns have done it,” Mitchell said. “So what we propose is what all those other communities are doing, which I think is perfectly sensible.”

“People can still smoke marijuana. That’s the law now,” he said. “The moratorium is about trying to bring some sense into wear the actual dispensaries go, and we’re going to have to deal with it.”

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