Brewster rejects marijuana ban

After watching more than 100 towns impose temporary or lasting bans on marijuana facilities within their borders, pot advocates are cheering their second defeat of a municipal ban in the last week. Votes at Brewster town meeting on Monday night rejected a proposed ban on marijuana commerce in the Cape Cod town and then voted down a moratorium keeping recreational cannabis businesses away until 2019.

Hull has yet to decide whether to allow the marijuana industry to take root here. Selectmen will hear from town planner Chris DiIorio Thursday night relative to a proposal being formulated by the Hull Planning Board. Selectmen said last week that townspeople may be asked whether to establish a commercial zone for marijuana sales or to ban such sales altogether at an upcoming special town meeting. 

In Brewster, an outright ban was rejected by a 151-273 vote and a question whether to impose a temporary moratorium failed to reach the two-thirds vote required to pass, the town clerk's office said. The vote on the moratorium warrant was 266-188.

"Once again we're seeing that voters make responsible decisions when they have sufficient information to allay their fears about the new legal system," said Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

A group backed by MPP,, ran an informational campaign including digital voter targeting, phone calls, information sessions, and 3 ,500 mailings to convince voters to vote down "measures that would keep criminals in control of cannabis commerce and block the town from realizing significant new tax revenues," Borghesani said.

Borghesani said the information campaign model is "one that we hope can be emulated across the state."

Last week, voters in Amesbury chose to keep their city open to the growing legal marijuana industry, rejecting a proposal to ban non-medical cannabis commerce.