NORTHAMPTON, Mass (WWLP) – The city of Northampton, which has been a hub of Massachusetts’ retail cannabis industry for multiple years, now already has 11 dispensaries but now it looks like that number is reaching a limit.
Three city councilors who believe negative effects have emerged from the legal drug market have now proposed a cap of 12 pot shops allowed in the city, hoping an upper ceiling on the local marijuana industry may curb some of those effects.
There are arguments from both sides that are against and for a cap were expressed at the Northampton City Council meeting last Thursday evening.
City council member Michael Willers said, “If we let the market sort it out there is just gonna be an increased turnover of store fronts more store fronts to lie empty land lords will keep rent high looking to have cannabis shops come in and we will continue to see an empty downtown.”
“I just don’t think that choosing the magic number of 12 makes any sense,” added Mimi Odgers.
There are some exceptions to this ordinance. For example, it would not apply to business owners who qualify as “Social Equity Candidates” defined by the Cannabis Control Commission of the Commonwealth.
The ordinance passed by a 6-3 vote, but Mayor Sciarra, who opposes a cap, has the ability to veto the ordinance sending it back to council for another vote.