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TRENDING:       Ski bracket       Westford, Vermont       Girl Scout cookies       Ax-throwing bar As communities across the state grapple with the deadly grip of the opioid epidemic, Boston city leaders are weighing whether restrictions should be placed on marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores to prevent them from opening their doors near substance abuse treatment centers. Imposing some form of a “buffer zone” measure, a rule that would put a specific distance on how far dispensaries and package stores would need to be from one of the city’s 90 licensed treatment facilities, could provide protection for people recovering from addiction — already a fragile and difficult process, proponents told city councilors Tuesday. Yet additional red tape on the already heavily-regulated, burgeoning marijuana industry could hinder not only its growth in Boston, but also clash with the city’s ongoing efforts in making the business accessible and equitable to communities of color and those most negatively affected by drug laws, opponents say. While councilors have not presented any specific framework, people recovering from addiction, experts, advocates, and city administrators all offered cautionary views and their initial input on how lawmakers could steer such a policy — and if they even should — at City Hall Tuesday. “When we’re dealing with an emerging industry, zoning is very key to health, and that’s where we have the most influence — looking at how we zone, how we space, how we regulate any industry,” lead hearing sponsor and District 1 Councilor Lydia Edwards said. City zoning already places “buffer zone” limitations on current medical marijuana and forthcoming recreational marijuana dispensaries. Boston city councilors consider marijuana, liquor store zoning

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