Marijuana proponent goes before Planning Board

0
3

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

The hearing process for three retail marijuana establishments continued last Thursday as the Planning Board discussed a proposal for S. Washington Street.

Proponents for Holland Brands went before the board on Aug. 20 in a virtual meeting. The store is slated for 1320 S. Washington St., currently occupied by J. E. Case, Inc. Two other proposals—Pure Roots at 80 East Washington St. and Green Leaf Health at 91 George Leven Drive—will be heard at future meetings.

Much of the existing building at 1320 S. Washington St. will be gutted for the project, with the exception of a 1,500 square-foot warehouse area, said the proponents. Seventy nine parking spaces will be included, as well as ADA ramps and accessibility. All patrons will come in on the right-hand side of the building and after a secure check-in, will go to the waiting areas before entering the store. There will be three checkout areas, and customers will enter at the front and exit at the rear, where a new sidewalk will be constructed.

The fire department and Conservation Commission have both reviewed the plans, and the police will be asked to look them over as well. A traffic review of the area has shown that the increase will be minor compared to the usual traffic seen in the area.

There’s going to be a considerable change to the traffic flow, that much we can agree on,” said Board member Gregory Walsh.

The hearing was continued to Sept. 3, but may be pushed to Sept. 17 as needed. The process will include a site plan review and adult marijuana use permit.

These proposals first came before the town in early 2019. The estimated time for these retailers to complete the Cannabis Control Commission process, the Town’s permitting process–the Board of Health, Town Council, and Planning Board—and remodeling and outfitting the stores is close to two years.

In November 2016 residents voted to legalize adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by a vote of 8,230 to 6,953. In October 2018 three articles at Town Meeting were approved, related to businesses selling marijuana for adult use. Town boards and departments met for six months to decide on locations and opted for the Route 1 Corridor and the town’s industrial park. Up to six licenses can be issued, but at this time only three applicants will be allowed to move forward.