By Mina Corpuz
GROTON -- Marijuana research, testing, and cultivation could be allowed in town through a zoning amendment the Select Board plans to bring to Fall Town Meeting.
The decision comes about a month after voters expressed at the ballot that they do not want recreational establishments for retail, manufacturing, storage, microbusinesses, and cooperatives. Research and testing were the only activities they supported.
"We need to get our hands around this," said Selectman John Giger at the board's Monday meeting. "It's not just dribbling the ball down the court. We need to get something done."
The amendment proposes allowing a total of three establishments for those purposes to operate in greater business and industrial-zoned areas in town.
Facilities would need necessary licensing from the state Cannabis Control Commission and special permitting from the Planning Board.
Town counsel will draft the language and share it with the Planning Board, which will hold a public meeting about the zoning amendment before Town Meeting.
If it doesn't receive a two-thirds vote at Town Meeting, Groton's marijuana zoning passed at Spring Town Meeting will take effect at the beginning of the year. Those rules, however, would allow facilities to pursue activities voters indicated they don't want in town.
The board initially planned to ban all recreational marijuana, but some members asked to include the activities that voters supported at the ballot.
If Groton were to pursue a full marijuana ban, the town would need to hold a Town Meeting and put a question on the ballot, according to state law.
Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.