LUDLOW — Voters have approved two town meeting articles to permanently prohibit the establishment of retail marijuana shops or cultivation facilities in this community of 21,000 residents.
The votes took place at Ludlow’s special town meeting Nov. 6, when a majority of residents approved articles 3 and 4 to amend the town’s general bylaws and zoning bylaws, respectively.
The outcome was not surprising considering Ludlow’s consistent opposition to recreational marijuana, making the town the latest community in Western Massachusetts to ban retail pot.
Over 53 percent of Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative in November 2016 to allow adults to possess limited amounts of marijuana and grow up to a dozen pot plants at home, but state lawmakers delayed implementation of the law until July 1, 2018.
In Ludlow, about 52 percent of voters rejected the statewide ballot initiative and 48 percent supported it, or 5,222 votes to 4,823. That put the town with 90-plus other commonwealth communities that voted no at the ballot level.
Ludlow voters had already approved a temporary ban on recreational pot until June 30, 2018, but now the town has gone a step further with the permanent ban.
The Board of Selectmen unanimously supported articles 3 and 4, according to William E. Rooney, the board’s chairman, who spoke out against recreational pot at the Nov. 6 meeting.
Not everyone in town believes precluding land or structures from being used for the cultivation or retail sale of marijuana is a good idea, however.
“This is another revenue stream that we sorely need in town,” resident Vinnie Thompson said shortly before the vote, arguing that the town should capitalize on the legalization of recreational pot.
“Marijuana’s here,” Thompson said. “It ain’t going anywhere.”
Ludlow joins a growing list of local communities that have placed bans or moratoriums on marijuana establishments, including Wilbraham, West Springfield, Longmeadow and East Longmeadow.
In Wilbraham, residents voted no on recreational