Carpenter has said that the recreational marijuana industry would be a much-needed source of revenue in a city with an under-funded school system, allowing potential taxes and host community fees to be used to hire more public safety personnel. Carpenter has blamed the City Council for slow-walking the approval process for the ordinances, calling legalized marijuana “the greatest opportunity” the city has right now, but one that is “time-sensitive” as the state starts to license recreational pot businesses. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted Thursday to grant its first recreational marijuana license for a wholesale cultivation operation in Milford, with a target day of July 1 for retail sales to begin around the state, although the commission recently tamped down expectations that it could meet the “arbitrary” deadline to get stores up and running.
“Investors are going to start landing in other communities where they can get the license,” Carpenter said. “If the council would like to help us provide some real property tax relief and take the burden off the homeowners, which is what I’m trying to do, we need additional sources of revenue. There’s not one in the near future that will have the potential to generate millions of dollars in tax money and host community fees like adult use marijuana. ... It is right on our doorstep.”
Carpenter said Thursday that he has not been approached by any of the city councilors about the resolve to hold a vote and he remains in steadfast opposition to putting a weed business ban on the ballot.
“My feeling is the voters have already spoken on this,” Carpenter told The Enterprise, referring to the 2016 vote. “I am following the will of the voters. The voters passed this question already. To do anything else is stalling and delaying.”
Sullivan said recreational marijuana businesses would have a profound change on the fabric of the community, and that the introduction of pot shops needs to be thoroughly discussed by the public and voted on. Sullivan and the others calling for a citywide vote have the vocal backing of the church leaders from North Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist Church. Sullivan said it would be a “dereliction of duty” not to call for a vote, when so many families and church communities are concerned about the impact.
“When I go to the youth soccer games or Little League, it’s the conversation,” said Sullivan, who has three children. “It’s short-sighted to say this is going to be a windfall for the city of Brockton, and that this is going to be an economic boon. It’s going to have a lasting decades-long impact on the city of Brockton for generations to come.”