Springfield marijuana applications delayed due to coronavirus pandemic

Hampden County

FILE – In this April 20, 2016, file photo, a man smokes a marijuana joint at a party celebrating weed in Seattle. Legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults may have led to a slight decline in teen use. That’s according to research published Monday, July 8, 2019, in JAMA Pediatrics. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor Domenic Sarno provided an update on different issues related to the adult-use of marijuana in Springfield Thursday.

In his update, Mayor Sarno discussed the two processes and requests that need to be made or amended in order for new establishments to be built in the city in the near future.

The areas discussed include the Phase Two process to implement Adult Use Marijuana in the City of Springfield; requests to amend two Host Community Agreements I previously issued; and the expectation that the City will be having two new Adult Use Establishments in the near future.

“A revised invitation for applicants based on the latest draft of regulations will take into account the CCC regulations, including new licenses created for delivery, with a three-year exclusivity opening for social equity applicants, the regulations are expected to be finalized in a vote on November 30th by the CCC and we anticipate issuing the request within two weeks of that date,” said Sarno.

In September, Mayor Sarno anticipated that applications for a variety of licenses including retail establishments, cultivation, and delivery could be issued in October, however, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission delayed the issuance of the request to comply with changes in the law and regulations as well as the changing environment caused by COVID–19.

The mayor also said he wants to make sure that a fair and transparent evaluation is put in place to review any new applications or amended applications by past applicants, seeking to open up an adult-use marijuana business in Springfield.

Sarno explained, “I want to make it clear that we are very sensitive to social justice issues surrounding this industry.  Also, just as important and sensitive and as was done with our first round and out of respect to our neighborhood councils, is their input. I am currently awaiting the New North Citizens Council recommendations and then in turn with our internal committee will review and craft a Host Community agreement to be sent forward to the City Council for their consideration of a special permit.”

The mayor also added that it could have a positive economic impact for the city and new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. The latest updates on local marijuana companies are:

  1. Holistic is on the verge of opening its establishment on Boston Road.
  2. INSA is renovating the site of their planned facility on West Columbus Avenue and is expected to open in the next few months.
  3. 6 Bricks received provisional license approval from the CCC to operate but has plans for a new proposed location.
  4. 311 Page Blvd, LLC has not yet filed an application with the CCC but requested that the City issue a new Host Community Agreement with TYCA Green, Inc., and the partnership promised to donate funds directly to non-profits and charities from sales at its store.

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