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Malden to consider zoning for marijuana treatment centers

Posted by Jarret Bencks  December 21, 2012 12:18 PM

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Officials in Malden will consider amendments to its zoning laws that could pave the way for medical marijuana treatment centers in the city.

Malden's Planning Board and City Council will consider the changes in a public hearing Jan. 9. The proposed amendments mirror the city's ordinances for medical services centers, and restrict marijuana treatment centers to dense, commercial districts, Director of Public Health Chris Webb said Friday.

The ordinance changes do not restrict the size of the centers, or the number of permits allowed in the city -- that's up to the state, Webb said.

"Obviously, no one wants 300 in their city, but the state has only so many licenses," Webb said.

The referendum legalizing marijuana for medical use and treatment centers -- passed by voters in November -- calls for a maximum of 35 centers in 2013 and for the state's Department of Public Health to adjust that number in the future.

A number of area communities are considering zoning changes to restrict the centers.

The proposed ordinances in Malden were originally scheduled to be considered in a public hearing Dec. 12, but were tabled to Jan. 9. The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in Malden Government Center.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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