North Andover votes against Marijuana Farm

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on February 01, 2018.

The majority of North Andover residents decided against recreational marijuana businesses in town, including a proposal for a massive growing and research facility.

Opponents voted 1,155 to 1,430 for the proposed $100 million “Massachusetts Innovation Works” project in the town. They not only denied the cannabis research and cultivation facility but also prevented other potential commercial marijuana businesses looking to set up shop in North Andover.

A local doctor wanted to build the facility at the site of the former Lucent Technologies plant on Osgood Street. He also offered the town $5 million a year for the facility.

The voting was held at the high school’s Fieldhouse. It lasted close to three hours and included passionate statements from voters on both sides.

“I’m going to wake up tomorrow with a smile,” said former town moderator Charles Salisbury, who spearheaded opposition to the proposal.

“The real question was, would the proponents be able to field an audience large enough to overwhelm the silent majority in town? But the town turned out in huge numbers, ’’ Charles added.

However, some residents are fully backing up the decision to allow the marijuana business to establish itself in the town.

Resident Chet Woods says the idea of the facility sounds good to him. "The medical research benefits from it," said Woods. "I'm an ER tech, I see so many patients every day that easily could be treated with marijuana that just isn't available."

Residents in favor of the ban also brought up the uncertainty around potential federal prosecution, in light of recent statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that indicate the potential for crackdowns under federal law, where marijuana remains illegal.

Meanwhile, North Andover joins surrounding cities Lawrence and Methuen to ban in establishing commercial cannabis.

comments powered by Disqus