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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. 

Tags: marijuana,   

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Preliminary Sitework Begins at Greylock Glen

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — Preliminary sitework for the Greylock Glen Outdoor Center has started, and town officials hope to have an official groundbreaking ceremony later this month. 

 

Town Administrator Jay Green said some tree and utility work has already begun at the site, with concrete work coming during the next two weeks. He said contractors, engineers, and town staff frequently hold meetings to discuss the project. 

 

"There's a lot of work going on with it. If people drive up there, they can see it. Please stay away from construction site for safety, but work is ongoing and we'll hopefully stay on track for an opening sometime in fall '23," he said.

 

Green said the town should also be ready to submit requests for proposals to operate the outdoor center's cafe and campground by the end of the month. He said the official groundbreaking should also be near the end of August and had hoped there would be a time where both Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal could attend. 

 

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to get both of their days to align, so we're probably going to choose a date last week of August for the ceremonial groundbreaking," he said. "We'll do some invitations and see if we can get people to show up, but we thought it was important to be celebrated for an hour, among ourselves, that we're finally under construction."

 

The town is the developer for the 54-acre glen, part of the Mount Greylock State Reservation, and the state has committed $7.3 million to the construction of the outdoor center. 

 

"It's important for people to know who are using the Glen walking trails, particularly the the gravel trail, that there are periodic disruptions to that as the site work is beginning to encroach slightly in that area," Green said. "It's not always closed. However, there's essentially supervisors, construction supervisors working in that area to alert walkers that there is some construction going on."

 

In other business, the Board of Selectmen once again heard about property concerns on the corner of Summer and Hoosac Streets. 

 

The concerns were brought forth by resident Lisa Mendel several meetings ago. She took issue with the number of unregistered cars and the property's condition, which she said had been in disrepair for some time. 

 

The property owners, Lisa and Francis Biros, said the issue had come up in the past and town officials told them that covering the unregistered vehicles would be enough to meet compliance with the bylaw. The bylaw allows for one unregistered vehicle, stating that any further unregistered vehicles must not be "within view" of any public way or abutting property. 

 

Police Chief K. Scott Kelley said he sent an officer to check and found two of the cars are unregistered. Mendel alleged there was a third unregistered vehicle, which the Biros' said should soon be removed from the property. 

 

The board read the bylaw, 125-17, aloud to help clarify the situation and debated the meaning of within view. Selectman Joseph Nowak suggested Town Counsel Edmund St. John III, who was not present, look at the bylaw so the town has clarity for future incidents.

 

Green said he feels the wording does not imply a simple cover meets compliance, but understood that the Biros' may have been told differently in the past. 

 

"I think Mr. Nowak is correct, in the sense that, it would be nice to have town counsel look at it," he said. 

 

Building Commissioner Gerald Garner said he would handle the situation further, noting is not an uncommon issue in Adams. 

 

"There are families here that have six vehicles in their driveway, because they have children that vehicles," he said. "So there's six vehicles that are registered in their driveway and then you'll see one unregistered vehicle on the property as well. So this is not an uncommon thing in the town, or anywhere." 

 

Selectman Howard Rosenberg said he empathizes with Mendel's complaint about the property and supports whatever action Garner deems necessary to uphold the bylaws. 

 

  • The board ratified the hire of seasonal Department of Public Works Employee David Shade. 

 

  • The board designated Kelley as the authority to assign officers to town polling places. A recent change made by the Legislature gave this authority to Boards of Selectmen. 

 

  • The board approved a one-day liquor license for St. John Paul Parish's Polka Festival. The event will be at the polka grounds on Sept. 11. 

 

  • The board approved a one-day liquor license for the Fall Run on Sept. 17.

 

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