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Pittsfield bans future outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation

The largest community in Berkshire County has outlawed all future outdoor cannabis cultivation following a city council vote this week. While Pittsfield, Massachusetts has two active commercial grow operations, no more will be allowed after a 10-1 vote Tuesday night.

City Planner CJ Hoss explained why the city’s Community Development Board – which proposed more restrictive amendments to existing zoning ordinances as an alternative – opposes a full-on ban.

“They feel that it's worthwhile tacking on a setback from residential structures that would provide a significant amount of additional protection from actual neighborhoods," said Hoss. "And then on top of that, you know, in the end, this is a use that is allowable under a special permit is granted from the zoning Board of Appeals.”

Hoss addressed councilors’ concerns about the skunky smell of cannabis, many of which were stoked by residents’ complaints about one of the city’s marijuana dispensaries on Dalton Avenue and its attached indoor grow facility.

“Berkshire Roots was one of the first cultivation operations in the state," he explained. "So unfortunately, there have been a few trials and tribulations, but we feel pretty confident that the solutions that were developed in a few months back should really fix the existing odor issue there and any issues in the future or really make it really much less of a problem.”

Read the complete article at www.wamc.org.


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