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Vote Scheduled In Springfield On Pot Shop Regulations

Marijuana is dispensed from a jar

Officials are finalizing regulations for retail marijuana stores in the largest city in western Massachusetts.

The Springfield City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a zoning ordinance that would cap the number of pot stores in the city at 15 and restrict the businesses to 58 streets.

City Council President Orlando Ramos defends the proposed rules against critics who say there should be a buffer zone around residences.

"(Marijuana stores) are only allowed to be located on lots that are zoned appropriately, they are not going to pop up in between houses randomly," said Ramos.

     The city’s planning board recommended adding a 500-foot buffer zone around day care providers and community centers.

State law already forbids marijuana stores from opening in close proximity to public and private schools.

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.