By ADAM SWIFT
PEABODY — There will be no border battle over medical marijuana along Route 1.
Earlier this week, the Lynnfield Board of Selectmen sent a letter to Peabody Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt Jr. opposing a proposed medical marijuana zone along the highway that would include a parcel abutting the Green Street neighborhood in South Lynnfield.
But Wednesday morning, Bettencourt spoke to Lynnfield selectmen Chairman Christopher Barrett, telling him he would withdraw that parcel from the proposed zone at Thursday night’s joint hearing with the City Council and Planning Board.
“I had the pleasure to speak with Mayor Bettencourt about our concerns and applaud him for proposing an amendment to eliminate the parcels in the zoning change that would be directly accessed from Green Street,” said Barrett. “The mayor was responsive to the neighbors’ concerns and his efforts showed the people of Lynnfield why Peabody is so fortunate to have a mayor like him leading the city.”
Bettencourt said the proposed zone for the sale of medical marijuana along Route 1 North will include several parcels along the highway, but will not include the area that can be accessed through Green Street.
“We agreed that it would be a hardship on that neighborhood,” said Bettencourt.
The hearing on the proposed medical marijuana zone is scheduled for Thursday at 7 in the Wiggin Auditorium at City Hall.
Allowing medical marijuana sales would reverse course for city officials, Bettencourt and several councilors said there were several reasons to make the change now. The mayor said the city could face legal action if it continues to prohibit the sale of medical marijuana. And at a recent council hearing on the subject, several councilors said they have seen the positive impact medical marijuana can make for those who need it.
While Peabody is on the cusp of allowing medical marijuana, city officials are backing a ballot initiative seeking the prohibition of recreational pot sales.
Both Peabody and Lynnfield officials have said they are doing their best to look out for the concerns of their residents.
“One of the main goals of the Board of Selectmen is to be a strong voice for all of the neighborhoods of Lynnfield,” said Barrett.