Marijuana joint, close up

The Tewksbury planning board has approved a site plan for its first cannabis dispensary and its select board is considering applications from 10 other business that want to sell recreational marijuana in the town bordering Andover.

The Tewksbury Select Board will need to give final approval to Sundaze, which wants to open at 2504 Main Street. Currently, the closest recreational marijuana dispensaries to Andover are in Lowell and Dracut.

Tewksbury can grant up to three licenses for marijuana dispensaries under a referendum approved by Massachusetts voters in 2016. In addition to local approval, the state Cannabis Control Commission needs to license dispensaries. Tewksbury Carnation reported Tuesday the select board plans to hold additional meetings in June to consider the other applicants.

The 2016 referendum allowed municipalities where a majority of voters opposed legalization to draft rules banning retail sales. Tewksbury voters opposed the law and placed a temporary ban on the businesses. That ban was lifted after a series of community meetings in 2018.

In Andover, 53.9 percent of residents voted against the 2016 law change. Town Meeting adopted a permanent ban of marijuana establishments in 2018.

Stock photo/Openverse

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