In November 2012, Massachusetts voters approved legal use of marijuana for medical purposes.
In May 2014, the Annual Town Meeting approved allowing, by special permit, all medical marijuana facilities (cultivation, processing and manufacturing, retail) on land zoned Industrial. Annual Town Meeting Warrant for May 12, 2014 (section containing zoning amendment). Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting of May 12, 2014.
In November 2016, Massachusetts voters approved legal use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
In May 2017, the Annual Town Meeting approved allowing, by special permit, all recreational marijuana facilities (cultivation, processing and manufacturing, retail) on land zoned Industrial. In addition, the Town Meeting approved a 2% local sales tax on retail sales of marijuana products for recreational use. Annual Town Meeting Warrant for May 8, 2017. Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting of May 8, 2017. YouTube video (part 1) (part 2) of the Town Meeting of May 8, 2017.
In May 2018, the Annual Town Meeting voted against allowing recreational marijuana facilities (cultivation, processing and manufacturing, retail) on land zoned Business. It also voted to change the local sales tax from 2% to 3%. Annual Town Meeting Warrant for May 14, 2018. YouTube video (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5) of the Town Meeting of May 14, 2018. You can find the discussion and vote on the zoning article at about minute 47:30 in part 5.
As a result of these votes, the Town of Halifax allows all facilities (cultivation, processing and manufacturing, retail) for both medical and recreational marijuana on land zoned "Industrial" by special permit. The Town's zoning map shows those areas that are zoned Industrial.
Interested applicants will need to apply for a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals (contact the Zoning Board of Appeals for the application) and site plan approval from the Planning Board (download the review procedure, the check list, and application).
Four Daughters Compassionate Care, LLC has signed a Host Community Agreement with the Town for a proposed cultivation and processing facility on River Street in Halifax. The agreement refers to "Exhibit A". Four Daughters will need to complete the licensing process with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission and obtain a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals and site plan approval from the Planning Board in order to build this facility. A proposal has not been submitted to either Board. Both steps will be publicized on the Town's web site and in other venues. In addition, Four Daughters will need to host a public forum about this project. This will be publicized on the Town's web site and in other venues.
October 2019 update on Four Daughters
The Town had contacted Four Daughters at the turn of the year (2018/2019) and the company indicated that it had been testing the soils on the property for septic systems and there was the possibility that an area had been found on the property that would “perc”.
On or about February 6, 2019, news broke that Four Daughters had been purchased by Verano. No one has officially contacted the Town about the sale. Four Daughters is allowed to assign the Host Community Agreement (HCA) to another party with the permission of the Town, but such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.
All that said, the project pretty much stands where it did back in June 2018 when the HCA was signed. Four Daughters/Verano still needs to begin the process of obtaining a license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Based on the records of the Commission, Four Daughters/Verano had not filed an application as of July 1, 2019. Four Daughters/Verano has not applied for the necessary special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals (a hearing would be required, newspaper ad, notification to the abutters, etc.) and site plan review by the Planning Board.
On October 29, 2019, Four Daughters withdrew from the Host Community Agreement and indicated that it will not pursue any licenses or permits for this project.
Zoning Update - October 2019
Two articles were presented to the Special Town Meting on October 21, 2019:
- Allowing recreational marijuana facilities (cultivation, processing, sales) on land commercially zoned via a special permit;
- Prohibiting recreational marijuana facilities (cultivation, processing, sales) within 300 feet of any land zoned agricultural/residential, the measurement to be based on the distance from property line to property line;
The Town Meeting voted to "pass over" action on both of these articles. Future Town Meetings may reconsider these proposals if the proposers gather the necessary signatures to pass them on the warrant for a future town meeting.
Bud's Goods and Provisions, a recreational cultivation company, met with the Halifax Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 to discuss the possibility of an outdoor cultivation facility on the same parcel where the Four Daughters facility was to be located off River Street. The video of the conversation is available (starts at about minute 31). Bud's Goods and Provisinos will meet again with the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 8:30pm. Bud's Goods has submitted a proposed Host Community Agreement. If there is interest by the Board and Bud's Goods, a public forum/hearing will be held in the near future, either in late November or early December 2019, concerning the proposed project and the Host Community Agreement.
The Halifax Board of Selectmen will host a community forum/public hearing for Bud's Goods and Provisions proposal to build an outdoor cultivation facility on River Street on Wednesday, December 4 at 7:00pm in the Great Hall in the Halifax Town Hall. The forum will include a presentation and an opportunity for residents and other interested parties to ask questions, make suggestions, and voice their views on the proposed facility. In preparation for the community forum, attendees are welcome to read the proposed Host Community Agreement and Bud's Goods and Provisions' presentation given to the Board of Selectmen.
Bud's Goods has an application before the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for a provisional license to cultivate and process marijuana.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has issued Guidance on Home Cultivation for Adult Use. Permits for buildings, wiring, plumbing, etc. are still required and zoning laws concerning setbacks and other restrictions still apply.
The Town of Halifax has not established any quotas for medical or recreational marijuana facilities including cultivation, processing, and sales.