Northampton City Council considers limiting number of recreational pot shops

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A proposed ordinance would, once commercial pot sales start this summer, limit the number of retail recreational marijuana venues to 10.

Northampton City Councilors Dennis Bidwell and Jim Nash drafted and introduced the proposal during Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

Bidwell told 22News, he doesn’t want downtown to become saturated with retail pot shops. “We’re sensitive to the concerns of the law enforcement community, of the public health community, of the prevention coalitions,” Bidwell told 22News. “They all are urging caution. And we think that a number like 10 is a reasonable number.”

The state allows cities and towns to limit the number of recreational pot shops, but that top number cannot be less than 20 percent of the number of package stores in the area. Northampton has 17 liquor stores.

City Councilor Bill Dwight doesn’t like the idea and told 22News that imposing a limit sets a bad precedent.

The city’s Committee on Legislative Matters will review the proposed ordinance next month.

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