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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 Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
 
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
 
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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