The Pittsfield City Council has finalized the marijuana regulations, capping the number of licenses at 35, that same which are allowed for liquor licenses.

At a meeting last week, the Ordinance and Rules Committee voted against limiting licenses at a set number.  However, the full city council last night listened to testimony from the Board of Health, as well as leaders from the Berkshire Family YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of The Berkshires, who argued the need for a 500 foot buffer to childcare facilities and playgrounds.

Randy Kinnas, CEO and Executive Director of the Berkshire Family YMCA, spoke on the influence these facilities could have on children, asking councilors to put themselves in the position of parents.

If they have a visual of a marijuana facility how would you feel?  That your son or daughter is exposed to a risk factor such as that?.....It might be what American society does with alcohol, but we don't want to duplicate that.

Randy Kinnas, BFYMCA

According to The Berkshires Eagle, Nate Joyner, from the Community Development Department, says "the level of interest is pretty high", noting he has already heard from a couple dozen interested parties.

After listening to all information presented, the council noted they wanted to accommodate interest of new businesses, and protect the city's children. The combination of those two ideals, led the county to settle on a cap of 35 licenses, equivalent to those of available liquor licenses, and voted to enforce a 500 foot buffer to child care facilities, play grounds, and other locations that handle children.

On July 1st, the state will allow the marijuana industry to open it's doors, after voters in 2016, approved the legalization of recreational sales and cultivation.