ALBION — Residents are a step closer to seeing two new ordinances proposed at the Town Meeting in March — one for licensing the sale of medical marijuana and another seeking a one-year moratorium on large commercial solar projects.

The Planning Board held public hearings for both ordinances Monday, and afterward voted to submit the measures to the Select Board for inclusion in the town warrant.

Any measure regulating marijuana would be the first of its kind in Albion. The proposal allows for medical marijuana businesses, but prohibits those selling for recreational use.

No more than two stores selling medical marijuana would be allowed and they must be located outside of the Main Street village district area. Businesses could obtain a 12-month license and then would have to go through a renewal process each year.

“So essentially what this ordinance is allowing at this time is medical marijuana cultivation, medical marijuana manufacturing, medical marijuana testing and (two) medical marijuana caregiver retail stores,” Planning Board Chairman Kevin Morrissey said.

Morrissey said during the hearing that the Select Board had asked the Planning Board to come up with regulations.

The ordinance originally was written to allow three medical marijuana stores, with one in the village district, but the Planning Board amended the ordinance before approving it, lowering the number to two stores and none in the district.

The board also approved a one-year moratorium on large-scale commercial solar arrays. Board member Bill Gatti said the purpose of the moratorium is to give the board time to develop some rules for regulating them.

“This is the Planning Board’s effort to simply place our finger on the pause button and get our act together and say, ‘What is it about commercial arrays that we need to know and we need to put before the town or not,'” Gatti said.

The issue came up after seeing several large solar arrays in the area, he said, like one off Route 202 in Unity.

The marijuana rules and the solar moratorium will now go to the Select Board for consideration. If approved, residents will then vote on them in March.

In other matters, the nomination period is open for a variety of positions in town, including two Select Board seats, two assessor positions, the town clerk and also tax collector/treasurer, Town Clerk Jeanie Doore said.

Selectman Jerry Keay completed the final year of a previous term so his position is up for election, and will be a full three-year term. The other seat is vacant, as a member stepped down last year, and has two years left in the term.

To be considered for a municipal position, a resident can pick up nomination papers at the town office and then must gather at least 25 signatures before returning the papers. The deadline for the nomination process is the end of the business day on Jan. 18, Doore said.

So far the only person to complete the nomination papers is Doore herself, for the town clerk and tax collector/treasurer positions she currently holds.

The town will hold a municipal election Friday, March 18, from 1 to 6 p.m. The Town Meeting will be the following day at 10 a.m. to announce the winning candidates and vote on the town warrant.


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