CEO Alex Hardy and Mayor Jennifer Macksey cut the ribbon on the 72,000-square-foot, more than $20 million, state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation facility on Wednesday morning even as National Grid was out back making sure that the power will be there when operations begin.
Originally to be built in the William Stanley Business Park, the cannabis company now plans to convert the former Starbase Technologies at the corner of Peck's and Valentine Roads into a cultivation and manufacturing facility.
The Selectmen on Tuesday authorized negotiations for a Housing Community Agreement with JMJ Holdings Corp. for a project that includes making former anchor stores into manufacturing and cultivation facilities.
The Planning Board last Monday gave the OK for Ruby Farms to develop 537 Ashland St. as an outdoor grow and processing site. That's prompted petitions from surrounding neighbors opposed to the facility.
Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin said the town's agreement, as it is currently, is not dissimilar from other communities. He noted, however, that the process is somewhat flexible compared to some.
Raheb, who previously worked as an investment banker, said this business is his first cannabis dispensary. He said he intends on holding a community outreach meeting for the dispensary, which will be at the former site of Woodstock South, as soon as possible.
Berkshire Roots will music, food, vendors, and new products on Tuesday at its Dalton Avenue location. On Saturday is the dispensary's launch of Garcia Hand Picked cannabis products made by music legend Jerry Garcia's family.
Social media strategist Alexander Farnsworth and his brother Brayden, and fashion designer Adam Lippes launched their joint venture, Farnsworth Fine Cannabis on March 1 with a retail location in Great Barrington.
After taking more than two hours of testimony from the public — most of it asking the board to more severely restrict or even disallow outdoor commercial marijuana production in town — the planners put forward a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow by special permit canopies of up to 100,000 square feet, the largest size allowed by the commonwealth's Cannabis Control Commission.
Temescal, which has marijuana dispensaries in New Hampshire and Massachusetts including one in Pittsfield, has a purchase-and-sale agreement for the nearly 10-acre property inside Hardman Industrial Park on Curran Highway.
But first Chair Stephanie Boyd reviewed the steps the board took to gather input and generate consensus around the marijuana issue, which generated angst, confusion and, ultimately, no action at the 2020 annual town meeting.
A line was at the door for the 10 a.m. opening at the transformed restaurant on State Road. The Friendly's closed in 2014 and the property was purchased by Clear Sky's parent company Evergreen Strategies in 2019. The Planning Board had approved the shop a year earlier.
But the conversation brought to mind a date seven days earlier as the board and the public relived many of the same arguments that have dominated the body's discussion for months as it hashes out a new zoning bylaw to regulate the production of cannabis.