5 Reasons to Block the Cannabis Ban in Brewster
At Town Meeting on November 13, Brewster voters will take up Articles 10 & 11, both of which could dramatically affect how Brewster moves forward in the new regulated and taxed marijuana system in Massachusetts.
- Article 10 would ban all cannabis facilities (including any type of non-medical retail, cultivation, testing & manufacturing) entirely within the town
- Article 11 would impose a moratorium on these facilities through December 2018
Both articles should be defeated for specific public safety, health and economic reasons:
Reason #1 — If Brewster doesn’t take control, criminals will
Marijuana is already in Brewster and it has been for decades. On November 13, voters will determine whether criminals--who don’t check IDs and don’t conduct any safety checks on their product--should control the market, or whether that power should be given to taxpaying, ID-checking businesses, under the direct control of state regulators and local officials. Articles 10 & 11 won’t keep marijuana out of Brewster. They will simply guarantee that criminals remain in control of marijuana commerce.
Reason #2 — Untested, unsafe products
In Yarmouth earlier this year, first responders were exposed to the deadly drug Fentanyl while responding to an overdose call involving marijuana laced with Fentanyl. Allowing safe, legal sales of tested product would remove the chances of our first responders and cannabis consumers encountering dangerous chemicals from untested product sold by gangs and cartels. Demand of cannabis has been strong for decades. That demand should be met with safe, tested product sold by regulated businesses, not by street dealers.
Reason #3 — Brewster needs new tax revenues
Brewster is facing a significant fiscal challenge. There are $589,375 in capital projects on the Nov. 13 Town Meeting warrant, plus a possible $195,000 land purchase, plus a projected $583,000 annual assessment for the Nauset Regional High School renovation AND a projected $382,000 annual assessment for the new Cape Cod Tech school. A new tax revenue stream would help the town meet these steep costs.
Reason #4 — Legal cannabis tax revenues would be substantial
State law allows towns to tax cannabis facilities at 6 percent on gross sales. With the average Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries gross annual sales of $7 million, this would mean $420,000 per year in new revenues for Brewster from a single cannabis retail location. At $420,000 per year, a cannabis facility would be the second-largest taxpayer in Brewster, just behind Ocean Edge at $475,000 per year.
Reason #5 — A moratorium is a defacto ban
Brewster voters should not buy the argument that the town needs more time to enact zoning regulations for cannabis facilities. Brewster and every other Cape Cod town have been zoning businesses selling controlled substances — such as alcohol and tobacco — for years. The new law gives town officials the power to determine the location of cannabis facilities, so there’s no chance of them appearing where town leaders don’t want them. Plus, cannabis businesses are not likely to pursue opportunities in a town that has already taken an adverse action against the new industry.
It's simply the smart & safe approach.
We aren't advocating for the legalization of recreational cannabis. That already happened in 2016. While not all of us voted for it, we do all accept the reality that illegal sales are occurring everyday on the Cape. We're local residents, businesspeople, former town administrators and retired law enforcement, advocating for smart, safe, taxed & regulated cannabis on Cape Cod.