By Andrew Wednesday Nov 14, 2018 at 2:28 PM Nov 14, 2018 at 2:28 PM The Ordinance Committee ran into a minor stumbling block on its way towards determining who... City officials weigh options for Malden’s recreational marijuana licensing process

The Ordinance Committee ran into a minor stumbling block on its way towards determining who in the city would be granting recreational marijuana licenses.

For a long time now, the License Board, which vets liquor licenses in the city, has been floated as the body that would determine who would have Malden’s marijuana licenses. More recently, as the Ordinance Committee has neared finalizing other aspects of the approval process, the body decided to meet with the License Board in order to ask them if they would be willing to have some role in the process.

Except, it can’t.

According to former Mayor and License Chairman James Conway — who, along with fellow board members Lee Kinnon and Andrew Zeiberg spoke with the committee at Ordinance’s Nov. 13 meeting — the License Board is prohibited by state law from doing anything other than liquor licenses.

Fortunately, handing marijuana licenses over to the board wasn’t the only option the Committee had in mind. Another is to incorporate the expertise of the License Board by appointing one member of that body to a dedicated board for marijuana licensing, along with a member from the board of health and another yet-to-be-determined city official.

“The legacy that you [the License Board] bring can’t be duplicated,” said Councilor Craig Spadafora.

While Conway said that the board would be more than willing to help out, he wasn’t even sure if a member from the License Board could serve on any other board, due to that same provision in state law.

Another question arose on whether people currently paid to serve on one board could serve on another paid board, as city regulations state that a city employee can only receive one salary unless they receive special dispensation to do so.

All of these questions halted discussions for the time being. Instead, the committee voted unanimously to have the city’s legal department look into city and state regulations to determine if members of these other boards could serve on a new marijuana board.

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