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Reflecting and Recognizing a Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP Partner

 

Friday, June 28, 2020 marks the one year anniversary of John Flynn Day in Milton, MA. John Flynn, Esq. received this special recognition in 2019 for serving as Town Counsel for thirty years. Last year, members of the Select Board, Town Administration, Senator Timility, Representative Driscoll, previous members of the Board, and other elected officials celebrated Attorney Flynn last year when the day in his honor was first proclaimed.

 

Present day, Milton held one of the first virtual town meeting ever held in the region on the evening of June 15th and finished on the following evening, June 16th. The Town of Milton, like other municipalities, has been conducting virtual meetings since the pandemic began three months ago. However, holding a virtual Town Meeting was a new experience that took a good deal of preparation.

 

To meet the technological demands that have developed as a result of Covid-19, a total of eleven trainings took place just to prepare for this meeting. In addition, the Town offered training sessions for town residents. Further, security measures were put in place so that only a Milton residence would be allowed to attend the meeting. And finally, panelists received trainings to familiarize them with the virtual platform.

 

Town Meeting had 39 Articles to present and vote on over the course of the two nights. In attendance there were 230 town meeting members and two call-in votes from town members. There were 24 panelists, consisting of the Town Board members, the presenters that were controlling the Zoom call. The articles included PowerPoint presentations, discussions and questions from meeting members. At the close of the annual meeting, 15 articles were passed by consent agenda. Twenty-four articles were presented over the Zoom meeting and active discussions took place over the two night meeting.

 

In the words of John Flynn, “a lot has changed in the course of a year,” but the challenges created by Covid-19 has not prevented the town of Milton from hearing the voices of its citizens.

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Legal Updates

MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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