A moratorium on marijuana stores in the largest city in western Massachusetts has been extended until the end of November.
The Springfield City Council has voted to extend for two months the moratorium that was due to expire at the end of September as councilor grapple to write zoning regulations to govern the marijuana industry.
City Councilor Mike Fenton is lobbying neighborhood councils to help him block proposed regulations he claims lack adequate protections for city residents.
" I think you could see at least the opportunity for retail marijuana facilities to be proposed in locations that are densely populated with residents," said Fenton.
In addition to not requiring a buffer zone around residential properties, he said another concern is the regulations that were given intial approval on a 7-3 vote earlier this month do not require adult-use marijuana stores to have off-street parking.
Councilors voted to cap the number of retail marijuana stores at 15 and restrict the shops to only 58 streets within business, or industrial zones. But the shops could be adjacent to houses in those zones.
Fenton contacted about 20 neighborhood organizaitons to invite representatives to a public informational meeting he is hosting Sept 12 at 5 p.m. at the East Springfield Neighborhood Council building on Carew Street.
A final vote by the City Council on the proposed zoning regulations for adult-use marijuana is tentitively scheduled on Sept. 25th. It takes 9 votes to pass a zoning ordinance.