[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton 9-18-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Purpose and intent. It is the purpose and intent of this section to expand the local scope over marijuana establishments within the City of Taunton under MGL c. 94G, and its implementing regulations at 935 CMR 500, and to enable the City to further regulate, improve compliance, deter illegal sales, impose reasonable safeguards to govern the time, place and manner of marijuana establishment operations to ensure public health and safety, well-being and deter illegal sale of marijuana to underage persons and to ensure that the marijuana establishment environment is strictly controlled to meet the requirements of state law. This chapter is not intended to supersede any existing state laws and should be interpreted to operate in harmony with such laws. The authority for this chapter is in the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, Art. 2, § 6, MGL c. 94G, § 3, 935 CMR 500.170, and every other lawful authority.
Definitions. Any word or phrase that is defined in MGL c. 94G, § 1, or 935 CMR 500.002, as same may be amended from time to time, shall, when used in this chapter, have the same meaning.
No person shall operate a marijuana establishment unless:
A license is issued therefor, in accordance with MGL c. 94G, by the Taunton Municipal Council (hereinafter "LLA"), which will refer all license applications to the Police and License Committee;
There is an executed host community agreement with the City of Taunton, which shall include such community impact fee as may be permitted by MGL c. 94G, § 3(d);
A special permit has been issued by the Municipal Council in accordance with Zoning Ordinance ______; and
The marijuana establishment is otherwise in compliance with the laws of the commonwealth and ordinances of the City of Taunton.
No person shall operate a marijuana establishment in the City without a valid, active license issued by the commonwealth through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission in accordance with MGL c. 94G.
The number of marijuana retailers within the City shall be limited to the lowest possible number so as not to be fewer than 20% of the number of licenses issued within the City for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages not to be drunk on the premises where sold under MGL c. 138, § 15 ("package store license"). As of June 11, 2018, there are 24 package store licenses issued, thus a maximum of five marijuana retailers may be licensed by the City.
All applications for licenses under this chapter shall be made on a form or forms to be prescribed by the LLA and shall include a sworn statement by the applicant giving the names and addresses of all persons having a direct or indirect beneficial interest in the license. Every applicant, or, if the applicant is a legal entity, all principals thereof, shall be at least 21 years of age and suitable for licensure as determined by the LLA. The LLA shall require each applicant to submit, and include in the LLA's review of every application, the following:
An emergency response plan that has been filed with the Fire Department and the Police Department in accordance with MGL c. 94G, § 12(h).
Approval of the emergency response plan by the Fire Department and Police Department, respectively.
Written operating procedures in accordance with 935 CMR 500.105.
A written communication from the Police Department that a security plan detailing security measures to ensure patron and community safety and to eliminate unauthorized access to the premises has been submitted to and approved by the Police Department.
No license shall be transferred without the prior written consent of the LLA.
All licenses must be posted under glass or equivalent protective surface and shall be posted on the licensed premises in a clear and conspicuous manner so that the same may be easily observed by a local inspector from a publicly accessible space.
The fee for the license for a marijuana establishment shall be set by the LLA or Municipal Council.
Every license issued under this section shall expire annually on June 30, unless sooner revoked.
The LLA shall not issue a license where a proposed location would be in violation of the General Laws of the Commonwealth or any ordinance of the City of Taunton.
The hours of operation of a marijuana establishment shall be set by Municipal Council in the special permit.
Records that are required to be kept by state law or regulation of marijuana purchased and sold must be available when requested by members of the LLA, Police Department, local enforcement officer, or any other authorized person or entity.
Within 30 days of receiving a renewal license from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, a marijuana establishment shall submit a copy to the LLA.
This chapter is in addition to any other laws, regulations or ordinances that may govern a marijuana establishment.
The LLA may adopt rules and regulations it deems necessary to implement this section.
Authority to inspect marijuana establishments for compliance and to enforce this chapter shall be held by the Building Commissioner, Zoning Enforcement Officers, Taunton Police Department, Taunton Fire Department, the Board of Health, the LLA and its authorized agents, or any other agency designated by the Mayor. Every marijuana establishment must permit any such authorized person access for the purpose of lawful inspection as a condition of its license.
Violation guidelines. In the event that a licensee violates, or permits a violation of a law of the commonwealth related to recreational marijuana; this chapter or any other City of Taunton Ordinance related to recreational marijuana; or any rules and regulations promulgated by the LLA hereunder, the LLA may take the following actions, respectively:
Prior violations. Violations which occurred more than two years prior to the date of a violation shall not be used in calculating the number of for purposes of these guidelines.
LLA discretion. The LLA may use its discretion in determining whether the facts surrounding a violation warrant action different than that suggested by the guidelines. These guidelines shall not be construed so as to limit the LLA's authority to impose additional conditions on a license when warranted.