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Marijuana moratorium on warrant; Bylaws for pawnbrokers, peddlers also up for vote.

Byline: Craig S. Semon

WEBSTER - A temporary moratorium on medical marijuana treatment centers, a more stringent bylaw for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers, and fingerprint checks for those applying for hawking, peddlers, liquor, pawn dealers, hackney drivers and ice cream truck vendor licenses are some of the big issues being decided at the special town and annual town meetings May 13.

The town will vote on a temporary moratorium on the use of land or structures for a medical marijuana treatment center. If it passes, the moratorium will be in effect through June 30, 2014.

During the moratorium, the town will undertake a planning process to address the potential impacts of medical marijuana in Webster, consider the department of public health regulations regarding the issue, and consider new zoning bylaws to address the impact and operation of such centers.

The town will vote on a more stringent bylaw for pawnbrokers and secondhand shop owners who deal with the purchase, sale or barter of junk, precious metal, stones and gems, and "old metals" (gold and silver).

In addition to needing to be duly licensed by the board of selectmen, every pawnbroker or secondhand shop owner will have to keep detailed records of every transaction, as well as a photocopy of a driver's license of the person involved in the transaction, according to the article. The records will have to be open at all times for inspection by the board of selectmen and the police chief. Transaction records will be electronically delivered to the police department no later than noon the following business day.

Furthermore, no secondhand article will be sold, encumbered by sales contract or otherwise disposed of, or altered in its appearance, within 30 days of purchase by a pawnbroker and 10 days of purchase by a secondhand or junk dealer unless permission is granted by the police chief.

The town will vote on whether to create a bylaw enabling the police department to conduct state and federal fingerprint-based criminal history checks for those applying for hawking, peddling, door-to-door sales, liquor, public conveyance, secondhand dealers, pawn dealers, hackney drivers and ice cream truck vendor licenses.

In addition, the new Price Chopper Supermarket is seeking an all alcoholic beverages license.

The special town meeting is slated for 6 p.m., to be followed by the annual town meeting at 7 p.m. Both are being held in the Bartlett School Auditorium, 52 Lake Parkway.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 10, 2013
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