CANNABIS CULTIVATION RE-SEND

Dear Neighbor,
Town meeting is scheduled for June 8 at 6pm at Weston Field at which time a bylaw on cannabis cultivation will be up for a vote.
As of April 28, Massachusetts law allows some land  protected under the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) to be used for commercial cannabis cultivation.
It has come to our attention that such a use for some of the land at Green River Farm in South Williamstown is being explored.  (See page 4 “New Crop Opportunities” of the attached presentation from Matthew Clarke.)  Please click on the links below and read the attached documents.

Bette Craig, President, SWCA

1.   Williamstown Planning Board's Article 29 regarding indoor and outdoor commercial marijuana cultivation in Williamstown (indoor in the Limited Industrial zone, outdoor in the Rural Residence 2 and 3 zones):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LGk2zEe2y3rKOPDw5K9DsdTGLUJKAYSYzpx4LB-RRHo/edit

2.   iBerkshires Article entitled Mt. Greylock School Committee Discusses Williamstown's Cannabis Bylaw Proposal (Note: after the publication of this article, the Planning Board has acknowledged inaccuracies in the map showing the areas where cannabis cultivation would not be permitted under Article 29)

https://www.iberkshires.com/story/64933/Mount-Greylock-School-Committee-Discusses-Williamstown-s-Cannabis-Bylaw-Proposal.html

3. Two WilliNet “Community Connections” interviews regarding Article 29:

“Town Warrant Article 29 – Zoning Bylaw Amendment – Marijuana Cultivation” with Planning Board Chair Stephanie Boyd and Vice-Chair Chris Winters

https://vimeo.com/551919218

“Marijuana Cultivators – Concerns & Proposal to Amend Art. 29” with Stan Parese and Andrew Skinner

https://vimeo.com/555398811

4. Guidance by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources dated April 28, 2021 entitled “Hemp and Marijuana Production on APR and Farm Viability Protected Lands”

https://www.mass.gov/doc/hemp-and-marijuana-apr-guidance/download

Excerpts from page 4:

  • “Lawful marijuana production on land protected by an APR where there is no federal interest in the Restriction is not considered a violation by the Department.”
  • “Marijuana production must still meet any municipal oversight and regulation, including, but not limited to zoning and wetlands.”

Note: MDAR has informed the Town of Williamstown that the APR governing the Green River Farms property has no federal interest.

5. PowerPoint presentation (attached) of proposal for Green River Farms to include horse farm and commercial cannabis cultivation

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