Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone will seek a year-long moratorium on the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Somerville, according to an announcement sent by the mayor's office Wednesday.
Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot in November, 2012, and the new law says every county in the state must have at least one medical marijuana dispensary, but there can't be more than five in a given county. The Massachusetts Public Health Council approved more detailed regulations on May 24 for medical marijuana, and some communities have voted to ban dispensaries.
According to the announcement from Curtatone's office, the mayor is asking the Somerville Board of Aldermen to approve a moratorium on dispensaries through June 30, 2014.
Doing so will let the city's legal department study the new regulations and allow the planning and health departments to review the city's ordinances relating to the law, the announcement says.
Curtatone recently told the Boston Globe he wasn't necessarily opposed to having a medical marijuana dispensary to Somerville.
"I support the use of medical marijuana and this community supports it, and the voters spoke loudly and clearly," Curtatone told the newspaper, adding, "I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the people of the community would want the planning and the siting of a facility to be done in a strategic and a smart way."
In Somerville, 73 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of medical marijuana in November, while 20 percent voted against the measure and 5.8 percent left that question (Question 3) blank.
Across the state, 63 percent of voters approved medical marijuana.