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Special City Council Committee Named To Write Pot Shop Rules For Springfield

Marijuana is dispensed from a jar

Efforts to bring retail marijuana stores to the largest city in western Massachusetts are accelerating.

Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos Friday appointed a new Subcommittee on Adult-use Marijuana and announced a timetable to put zoning and permitting regulations for pot stores on the books by the end of September.

"If all goes as planned, then there will not be a need to extend the moratorium that is in place," said Ramos.

The City Council approved a six-month moratorium on retail pot stores to give officials time to come up with zoning regulations and other local permitting requirements.  It expires at the end of September.

Massachusetts has had a slow rollout to recreational marijuana after voters legalized it in 2016. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission recently issued a number of provisional retail licenses.   But it has yet to license a laboratory to test marijuana before it can be legally sold in the state.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.