Photo: Voters by a two-to-one margin approve limiting pot businesses in Belmont.
Belmont declared Tuesday, Sept. 25, that marijuana as a business should be kept at a minimum, as voters by a two to one margin limited pot to be sold at two retail stores.
At Tuesday’s special town election, a little more than 2,000 voters voted ‘yes’ to prohibit all types of marijuana establishments with the exception of retailers, just about double (2,004 to 1,160) those who opposed the measure, which would have permitted all sorts of pot commerce – such as growers and processors as well as an unlimited number of stores – to be located in town.
The special election was called when Town Meeting at its spring annual meeting approved the language which allowed the town to select the retail-only business option.
Approximately 18 percent of registered voters ventured on a dank, rainy day to the polls, a good size participation considering the non-financial nature of the ballot question.
Town Meeting members will soon decide where the pair of pot shops can be located when the Planning Board presents proposed retail marijuana overlay districts at the Nov. 12 Special Town Meeting.
While Belmont is now open for retailers to apply to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission for a license, past actions by town officials will likely place the Town of Homes on the back burner for pot entrepreneurs. In the spring, the Belmont Health Board increased the age of those purchasing weed and related products to 25 years old while prohibiting the delivery of products in town. With Belmont surrounded by communities with fewer restrictions – Boston, Watertown and Cambridge come to mind – the consensus is that businesses will skip over Belmont to those with more favorable bylaws.