Florida voters put new pot rules in place

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FLORIDA — Voters approved new marijuana bylaws and a $1.38 million budget at the recent annual town meeting.

The marijuana bylaws were put in place shortly before a moratorium on marijuana businesses was set to expire at the end of June.

The new regulations specify that it is the job of the Select Board to issue a special permit for any prospective marijuana business, such as a cultivator or retailer, on the condition that it not "create a public nuisance related to traffic impacts, visual impact, odor, noise, safety [and] security, and environmental impact."

The new ordinance — which received the necessary two-thirds approval to be enacted — also states that the business must comply with all existing state laws regarding marijuana establishments.

Voters also approved a $1.38 million town budget for fiscal 2020, which is essentially flat from the previous year and represents an increase of 0.21 percent.

In addition to the town's budget, voters also approved $1.39 million for the Abbott Memorial School. The town's contribution to the Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District dropped from $224,437 to $216,873, an expenditure voters also approved recently.

Voters also approved several additional expenditures, including a $10,000 appropriation to replace the floors at the Senior/Community Center, $9,000 for the purchase of new accounting software, and $8,000 for overages as the town expects additional expenses in its quest to connect to broadband internet.

The town also moved $300,000 from its free cash into the stabilization account.

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

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