[Locals Tell Catholic College It’s Not “Public” Enough to Come Under State Law Prohibiting Pot Dispensaries with 1000 Feet of a School:]
Catholic College Threatens Legal Action Over Marijuana Dispensary Proposed for Merrimack, New Hampshire
By MICHAEL BRINDLEY • JAN 7, 2016 • New Hampshire Public Radio
The president of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack is threatening legal action if the town approves a proposed medical marijuana dispensary across the street from the school.
Town officials gave conditional approval to the dispensary this week, which would be located in a former credit union on Daniel Webster Highway.
In a letter to town officials, Thomas More College President William Fahey urged them to reject the proposed location, saying it will “be harmful to our corporate image, especially to the sense of safety and wholesomeness rightly associated with our college.”
“We would anticipate a decline in applications if a cannabis site became established within a few hundred feet of our campus,” he wrote.
State law prohibits dispensaries from being within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone or school, but town officials say that doesn’t apply to private colleges.
Fahey argues that’s not in following with the spirit of the law.
“Legal action will be considered, as well as regular peaceful protest similar to those which our students undertake regularly against abortion clinics,” Fahey wrote.
Local businesses have also raised concerns about the facility’s location.
Officials with the nonprofit Prime Alternative Center of New Hampshire, the organization proposing the dispensary, stress there will be no use of marijuana on site.
The dispensary would be one of four allowed under the state’s medical marijuana law passed in 2013.
Once formally approved, the dispensary in Merrimack could be open by the spring.