In Florida, a pause, but not a ban, on retail marijuana

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FLORIDA — Recreational marijuana retailers will be welcome in the hill town known for its turnips.

Town voters adopted a temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses at Friday's annual town meeting, but stopped short of adopting a proposed permanent ban.

The outright ban required a two-thirds majority to pass but only received about 50 percent support of those present, according to town officials.

The town currently does not have any zoning bylaws that address recreational marijuana businesses, which are slated to begin receiving licenses to operate from the Cannabis Control Commission next month.

The moratorium will buy the town time to revise its zoning bylaws. It's set to expire on June 30, 2019, or earlier if the town adopts relevant bylaws ahead of schedule.

Had a ban passed at the annual town meeting, it still would have required approval in a townwide vote at the 2019 annual town election to take effect.

Town meeting members also approved a municipal budget of $1.35 million and $300,000 for an asbestos remediation at Gabriel Abbott Memorial School. The project is expected to begin immediately following the school year and last through the summer.

Voters also approved an article requesting $35,000 to Berkshire Bank for the final payment on the school's roof repair project.

Additional approvals included $30,000 from free cash to cover a snow and bridges account deficit and $30,000 from free cash into the town's stabilization fund.

Town voters also approved a new

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.


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