Hampshire County

Belchertown residents pass recreational marijuana, breweries articles at town meeting

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) - Belchertown residents passed three big articles at a Town Hall meeting Monday night. Hundreds of residents gathered at the high school for the annual meeting. 

Article 23, which allows the town to update zoning bylaws to create regulations for recreational marijuana passed, as well as Article 24 which will set a three percent tax on marijuana, and Article 25 which will allow an update to the town's zoning by-laws to create regulations for breweries and wineries.

For Chris Peterson, co-founder of Arc Point Brewing in Belchertown, the article amending the zoning by-law to add definitions and regulations for breweries and wineries was the most significant item on the agenda.

“We have a license for the town to actually have our nano-brewery, however, we don't have a tap room, and we don't do any sales out of the brewery,” Peterson told 22News.

Peterson said passage of the article could mean big business for Belchertown.

“It would increase tourism,” a local resident said. “I mean people come from all over New England to visit breweries, wineries, distilleries. And with a passage of this legislation, we would be able to open all of those.”

For some residents, the article addressing regulations for recreational marijuana was the main concern.

“I am against legalizing marijuana, but I am for a lot of other subjects,” said Sandy Brougham of Belchertown. “I think we are a bedroom community for Springfield, I think we have excellent school system here, and I just don't see the need for it.”

Belchertown’s Town Meeting warrant had a total of 48 articles.


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