A lot has changed in two years.
Nearly two years ago to the date the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a permit for a medical marijuana facility at the former Kentucky Fried Chicken on East Street because it was detrimental to the neighborhood. On Wednesday, the ZBA approved an even bigger recreational marijuana facility on the same location
The former Kentucky Fried Chicken on East Street is yet again eyed to be a marijuana facility.
Just two years ago the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a permit for Happy Valley Compassion Center to operate a medical marijuana facility at the vacant restaurant. Now, Heka Health is proposing to use that and the neighboring Tailored Events properties for a recreational marijuana dispensary.
he ZBA doesn't want marijuana shops downtown.
"What I am seeing is that the board tends to not want a presence downtown," said Chairman Albert Ingegni moments after the board voted to deny a permit for a retail shop in a currently vacant storefront on Bank Row.
Three more marijuana companies are working their way through the local permitting process.
Temescal Wellness, Bloom Brothers, and David Graziani all received approvals from the Community Development Board Tuesday night - though the first was more of an update to a previously approved medical marijuana facility to become recreational and the third requires a secondary approval.
Police Chief Timothy Sorrell is willing to shrink the size of the cruiser fleet, as long as newer vehicles are purchased.
Sorrell has pitched the Board of Selectmen a concept of eliminating two cruisers in exchange for purchasing newer versions. Overall, the department would reduce from six cruisers to four - but the four would be newer.
A second marijuana company is considering opening in Lanesborough.
Barry Coleman and Benjamin English met with the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night and said they're looking for about a 20,000 square-foot establishment to grow cannabis. In the future, they'd like to expand into a retail operation as well.
A developer is looking to build 18 greenhouses on Gray Raven Farm for marijuana cultivators to lease.
Rob Wolf, a managing member of New England Agriculture Technologies, presented a plan to the Board of Selectmen on Monday to build the greenhouses up to state regulations for cannabis cultivation, surround them with a solar field, and then lease the spaces to commercial growers.
The floodgates have opened.
With two months before commercial, recreational marijuana sales are legal in Massachusetts, businesses are getting in line to open shop. On Tuesday, five new businesses received the first local permitting hurdle as they seek to open marijuana facilities.
EWP LLC is looking to establish a cultivation location at 420 Curran Highway. The company is holding a community meeting on Friday, April 27, at noon in the Berkshire Room at the Holiday Inn on Main Street.
Operating as Valley Green Grow Inc., the company has filed with the state to operate a dispensary and a cultivation location. The dispensary would be located at 1499 South State St., a small brick house that's found itself surrounded by commercial properties, with Cumberland Farms to its north and Hardman Industrial Park to the south.
When Christopher Swindlehurst and Crispina Ffrench first saw the former Notre Dame Church on Melville Street, they loved it.
That was back in 2012. They turned it into a maker's space. It has a commercial kitchen. It is a screen shop. It has a sewing lab. And artisans and small businesses used it to make their goods. But Swindlehurst said the couple doesn't have the resources it needs to provide the upkeep it needs.
The City Council looks to lessen the restrictions on commercial marijuana facilities.
The city's Department of Community Development has proposed zoning guidelines to guide the siting of recreational marijuana enterprises.
The process took over an hour as the council tried — but somewhat failed — to stay out the "quagmire" as it again debated amendments of amendments and briefly mulled reopening the lengthy full ordinance passed two weeks ago to consider medical marijuana.
The ordinance has been in the works since January, when Mayor Thomas Bernard in one his first acts in office formed a working group to fast track an ordinance on retail marijuana before the state begins accepting applications in April.