What’s Next for Liquor Licenses, Marijuana Dispensaries in Danvers?

Allowing Danvers more liquor licenses goes to the State House.

Danvers Town Hall. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Danvers Town Hall. Photo credit: Patch file photo.

Danvers Town Meeting approved articles about adding liquor licenses for Danvers eateries and creating a marijuana dispensary overlay district on Monday.

The question some may be wondering is: What happens next?

Here’s what to expect for the two issues:

Liquor licenses

Town Meeting approved asking the State House to introduce a home rule petition to allow Danvers to add six more alcohol licenses. Danvers was already at its limit based on its population, but the Board of Selectmen say there are more Danvers restaurants that want liquor licenses.

Town Meeting's approval on Monday means a home rule petition will go to the State House. Both the House and Senate need to approve the added licenses and it needs Gov. Deval Patrick's signature. 

State Rep. Ted Speliotis had already introduced legislation asking that Danvers be allowed to increase its liquor licenses by one for Turner's Seafood. That bill, H.288, is currently in the Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee at the State House. 


Marijuana dispensary overlay district

Town Meeting created a district for marijuana dispensaries that includes Route 1 to the west, including parcels abutting Industrial Drive and Electronics Avenue, and parcels bordering Conant Street to the north, including all parcels abutting Cherry Hill Drive.

Danvers passed a moratorium on dispensaries in 2013 so the Planning Board could research the matter and forward a proposal.

The Planning Board chose those locations because they have “excellent road access, offer a variety of available spaces suitable for a range of [Registered Marijuana Dispensaries] uses, and are geographically situated in areas that are relatively isolated from surrounding residential uses,” according to the Town Meeting Warrant.

The state approved 20 marijuana dispensary locations last week. The closest location is in Salem.

The state law allows the Department of Public Health to allow up to 35 dispensaries, which means when the next round of dispensaries are approved, Danvers has a zoning district for those businesses in place and a dispensary won't open in an area that the town may find objectionable. 

Other than Salem, the other closest dispensaries approved by the state are in Haverhill and Boston.

Keith Lucy February 05, 2014 at 02:07 PM
Is the legislation to create a license for Turner's Seafood still alive? Turner's has scrapped their plan to come to Danvers and is opening in Salem instead. Will Ted be able to get a license for an empty building, just like he got one for a toy store?
Keith Lucy February 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM
The DPH has issued 20 dispensary licences and that one of them is in Salem. This satisfies the law in terms of the requirement that there be at least one in each county. Given this latest development, why do we need to allow this use in Danvers? There are other legal land uses (Solid waste facility, Salvage/Junk/Wrecking yard) that Danvers does not allow, and other municipalities ban certain uses as well. Peabody, the home of the "Tanners", no longer allows tanneries. The dispensary site in Salem is less than four miles from Danvers Town Hall. Do we need a more local facility? The possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana is still in violation of federal law. Each U.S. state can pass their own marijuana laws, but when these laws are in conflict with the federal rules, the federal rules control. Traditionally drug crimes are prosecuted at the state level. But because some states have decriminalized marijuana crimes (such as for medicinal purposes), federal prosecutions for marijuana possession/sale/cultivation are becoming more common. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/federal-marijuana-laws.html Should the Town of Danvers be passing zoning laws that promote the violation of federal law? Marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to accept credit cards or debit cards as banks will not accept merchant transactions from companies that are in violation of federal law. This forces them to perform all cash transactions, including the paying of employees. Do we want to promote an "all cash" business in a remote part of Town? http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/01/29/medical-marijuana-firms-face-cash-economy-banks-steer-clear/88tfUTUbcaYvZfA7fpuENN/story.html


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