FLORENCE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Mayor of Northampton has declined to sign a host community agreement, effectively blocking Euphorium LLC from opening a pot shop where the Pizza Factory in Florence stands now.
This issue reignited the conversation over whether or not a cap should be put on pot shops and that’s why organizers behind this effort say the work isn’t over.
“Had many doubts along the way standing up to the cannabis industry and paid consultants and their falsehoods really, but in the end the truth matters,” Rick Haggerty told 22News. He’s behind a petition with nearly 600 signatures, which called for no more dispensaries in Florence.
Northampton Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra said she made the decision after hearing from residents and wants to see the corner spot used to help grow Florence center as some longstanding businesses prepare to close.
Currently there are 12 pot shops in the city of Northampton but how many is too many? That’s what the city council is deliberating now but the Mayor says there should not be a cap.
“People seeking HCA’s with us has dropped dramatically in the last two years,” the Mayor told 22News. “I don’t think that the market is going to continue at the rate that it has but I’m also really concerned about the equity component of this.”
However some residents, like Phil Sperling, question how many pot shops does one city need.
“Supply and demand, right?” Phil Sperling said. “If people want supply and they demand it then be closer, fine. But if they can drive somewhere else, I don’t see why it’s necessary to have it every single block.”
The Mayor added in a statement she will offer the owners of Euphorium assistance in finding another location.