Springfield mayor, City Council president at odds on pot shop contracts

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield is one step closer to opening four commercial pot shops. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said he doesn’t understand why City Council President Justin Hurst is questioning one of the approved host community agreements. 

Hurst told 22News, “We saw what happened in Fall River and I think the same thing could happen in the City of Springfield.” 

“To make those accusations pertaining to Fall River is absolutely disingenuous and ridiculous,” Mayor Sarno said in response. 

The mayor and City Council president continue to be at odds over future recreational marijuana shops in Springfield. The council on Monday approved host community agreements with the first four cannabis companies selected by the city. Hurst cast the one vote against the agreement with INSA. 

“The selection process was never the issue.,” said Hurst. “There was one particular host community agreement that was drastically different from the rest and I think it deserved a high level of scrutiny from the city council.” 

Springfield Mayor Sarno said he was offended and confused by what Hurst said. He told 22News the city hired an independent firm to ensure the city’s review process for the host community agreements was fair, balanced, and transparent. 

“I followed the committee’s recommendation to a Tee as stated by an outside independent specialist, Julie Steiner, and it’s in writing,” Mayor Sarno added. 

The four recreational marijuana businesses include: 

  • INSA at the former Luxe Burger Bar on West Columbus Ave 
  • 311 Page Boulevard LLC 
  • Holistic Industrial at 1300 Boston Road 
  • 6 Brick’s LLC at 259 Albany Street 

Councilor Hurst said it will take at least a year for the city’s first adult-use pot shop to open after they approve its special permit. 

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