state supreme judicial court

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

MANSFIELD — The state Supreme Judicial Court heard more arguments Monday on a recreational marijuana business proposed for West Street.

The court heard an appeal of a superior court decision allowing CommCan to operate a for-profit marijuana dispensary at 611 West St.

One area of dispute is that the company only has a special permit granted by the planning board in 2016 to operate as a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary.

However, CommCan converted its business to a for-profit after the state changed the law in 2017 to allow legalized recreational sales.

Lawyers in the case argued over whether the state law supersedes the local zoning bylaw governing marijuana businesses in town.

In February, the SJC heard a separate appeal from a Land Court ruling in favor of CommCan. However, the SJC has not issued a decision yet in that case.

During arguments Monday, Justice Frank Gaziano remarked that the case was made more complicated by changes in the law while the case was litigated in various courts.

An abutter, West Street Associates, is opposed to allowing for-profit recreational pot sales at the site because the town has a designated district on School for those types of businesses.

A lawyer for the abutter, Benjamin Tymann of Boston, argued that CommCan was not restricted from opening a recreational facility in that zone or as a non-profit on West Street.

The district for recreational sales covers parts of Route 140 and School Street.

In his arguments, Millis lawyer Jason Talermann, representing CommCan President Ellen Rosenfeld, said state law preempts the local bylaw.

Talermann said the superior court ruling in favor of CommCan should stand and asked the SJC to dismiss the abutter’s appeal.

Valerio Romano, a Boston lawyer who co-authored the 2016 ballot initiative that ended the prohibition of marijuana in the state, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief supporting CommCan.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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