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Adams native Douglas Rosenthal discusses his proposal to cultivate marijuana on Walling Road with the board on Wednesday

Adams Hears From Another Potential Marijuana Cultivator

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — Another marijuana grow facility was proposed to the Selectmen, however, it would require some bylaw changes.
Adams native Douglas Rosenthal held a preliminary discussion with the board on Wednesday in regard to a possible outdoor marijuana grow facility on Walling Road.
"We are from here, we love this town, and we are not some big corporation trying to just make a profit," Rosenthal said. "We are literally trying to do the complete opposite of that." 
This is one of the many marijuana operations lined up in Adams with a retail and grow facility both slated to open on Howland Avenue. Most recently, a marijuana retail and delivery service has approached the town about opening up on Spring Street.
Rosenthal, a 2009 Hoosac Valley graduate, said he is currently studying for the bar exam and said the 2.5-acre farm would be a family business.  
"It is kind of set back from East Road in a pretty secluded area," he said. "We want to have a small local family farm."
Rosenthal said they would be looking at growing 5,000 square feet of product that would only be distributed to retailers. He said they want to follow the "farm to table" model and compared the operation to the many microbreweries popping up over the country. 
"We want to sort of create craft marijuana sort of how local microbreweries create craft beer," he said. "We think it is a superior product compared to factory manufacturing or indoor growing."
He said they would start slow with 25 plants and the town itself would be critical to their advertisement campaign.
"We want to promote Adams and market Adams," he said. "We want to use the beauty of Adams. Our draft logo highlights Adams."
Rosenthal admitted there would be some roadblocks and currently the proposed site is zoned residential. According to the town's bylaws, Rosenthal can't grow on Walling Road.
Also the town's bylaws do not permit outdoor growing only indoor.
For this reason, Rosenthal said the first step would to start the amendment process and will solicit the planning board to look at some changes that would allow his type of operation via a special permit.
"This is early in the process ... we are not asking to amend the bylaws for a blanket outdoor growing endorsement," he said. "It is more just allowing the opportunity to present what we want to do to obtain a special permit." 
The Selectmen had next to no questions because Rosenthal was so early in the process but Selectman James Bush had one major concern about one of Rosenthal's neighbors -- Kumar the police department's K-9 unit.
"Kumar is a drug-sniffing dog and growing up raising beagles for rabbit hunting a rabbit goes into the back yard the dog is going to go crazy," Bush said. "Kumar is going to go crazy with this. His nose is going to get ruined."
Rosenthal said he was glad Bush brought this to his attention and he would look into the actual repercussions of having a grow facility next to a sniffer dog. He added that they don't want to interfere with Kumar's duties.
"I don't doubt what you are saying and I think the question is what is the threshold ... I want to learn more," he said. "Because we don't want to do that to Kumar. We know Kumar well, our dogs know Kumar well, they go over there sometimes. So we hope to be able to find a compromise."
In other business, Chairwoman Christina Hoyt read a letter from the town clerk noting that after the 2019 census Adams population has decreased by 34 people. The town's population is 8,442.
Before closing, Hoyt read a communication from the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District noting that the School Committee is still in need of an Adams representative and anyone interested should contact the superintendent's office.
"There is an opportunity to serve for three years," she said. "Right away you would be part of a very important decision." 
This important decision is the incoming superintendent search and Hoyt also said an Adams resident is needed to serve on the search committee. Hoyt said anyone interested should contact the town. 

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Adams Residential Tax Rate Up 3 Percent

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen set a fiscal 2021 residential tax rate of $22.62 and a commercial tax rate of $26.89 per $1,000 valuation. Both figures are up 3 percent over last year.
The board members approved a 115 percent split that represents a 74 cent increase on the residential side and a 90 increase on the commercial side of the tax rate at Wednesday's tax classification hearing.
"Everybody has to pay taxes, and I think we do very well in this community making our elderly feel at home," Selectman Joseph Nowak said. "I think we do well for our children, and this is a matter of everybody pitching in."
Last year, the Selectmen approved the same 115 percent shift that created a residential tax rate of $21.88 and a commercial rate of $25.99, or 
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