Swansea residents reject zoning change that would allow pot farming

Massachusetts

SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — Swansea residents voted against a zoning change that would allow for the cultivation of marijuana on residential farmland.

Bill Chadwick, owner of Mammoth Rock Farm, told Eyewitness News he hopes to lease – and eventually sell – his land to marijuana farmers.

But in order to do so, he needed the town of Swansea to approve a zoning change that would allow marijuana cultivation in an area that’s currently zoned for residential use.

Chadwick had initially gathered more than 200 signatures in support of his plan, which forced the special town meeting Monday night.

He hoped to introduce amendments that would restrict growing to properties with at least five acres and minimum setbacks, which would exclude a majority of properties in the town, but the town moderator would not allow these changes to be made.

Approximately 500 residents packed the Case High School auditorium with questions and concerns on the plan and how it would affect the community.

While Chadwick believes his plan would pump more than half a million dollars in tax revenue each year into the town, opponents say they are worried with the way the zoning change is written, which would allow any residential property in town to cultivate marijuana.

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