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Exterior changes planned for a retail cannabis store inside the American Legion. The permit was approved but the operators still need a state license.

North Adams Approves Third Cannabis Shop But Licenses Lacking

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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A second cannabis operation, Sparkboro Wellness, got approval for amended plans for a smaller building. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — There are now three retail cannabis establishments approved to operate in the city. 
 
But there are only two licenses available — and one's already taken.
 
The proprietors of Spencer House LLC said they were aware of the limit on licenses but told the Planning Board they were hoping the city's marijuana retail ordinance could be amended. 
 
"We were hoping that the second applicant was moving along smoothly and that we would be asking for a third consideration," said Heather Anello of Spencer House on Monday. "We decided to proceed — but I am absolutely clear about the number of licensing that is available in your town. ...
 
"However, you can put out several new host agreements and special permits, and I was hoping that no matter what, you would do this third consideration for sure."
 
The retail marijuana ordinance passed in 2018 put in place rules and setbacks for establishments, and also limited the number of licenses available to 20 percent (rounded up) of the number of package and liquor store licenses. North Adams has eight "off premise" alcohol licenses and so only two marijuana licenses are available. 
 
Evergreen Strategies LLC, operating as Clear Sky Cannabis, has a special permit and, more importantly, a state license to operate in the former Friendly's Restaurant on State Road. Clear Sky is expected to open in the next few weeks. 
 
Planners have also approved a special permit for Sparkboro Wellness to build a retail store at 1268 Curran Highway, the site of single-family home that was recently demolished. That permit was approved for amendment on Monday for a slightly smaller structure. Sparkboro was also approved for a location in Williamstown last fall but has not yet been licensed by the Cannabis Control Commission. 
 
"We just want you to understand the risk that you are taking, that there's no guarantee," Chairman Michael Leary told the Spencer House group, adding that any "consideration" would be in the hands of the City Council. "It's certainly not in our purview to say that the City Council will or won't approve something."
 
Anello and Glenn Posey, partners in Spencer House, which has a licensed store in Becket, said they plan to transform the hall at the American Legion at 91 American Legion Drive into a retail cannabis store. 
 
The hall will be self-contained within the post home and a new doorway will be installed to the right of the north entrance to the building. One of the two larger bathrooms will be reconfigured for use by the store's employees, security and lighting will be installed as well as a delivery door on the railroad side. A three-phase identification system will utilized for entrance and purchase of products. Handicapped accessible parking will be available in the small north side parking lot and more parking can be used in the 47-space lot on the south side of the building. 
 
"Our operational goal is to be a boutique retail model with high quality products," said Posey. "We have received the host community agreement from the town. And then once we, hopefully, what we do what we need to do to obtain the [special] permit from the Planning Board, then we intend to submit our license in the state and, hopefully, our plan is by June we will have the receipt of the provisional license." 
 
Anello and Posey said they have had discussions with the mayor and the building department about a third license but noted it may come down to how the licensing proceeds through the state. 
 
"We are always an advocate of the more the merrier," said Anello. "We want to see North Adams get up and running and get some tax revenue and really recover from the pandemic so from our side, we're supportive of you guys trying to change that in any direction for us or anyone else really."
 
The special permit was approved on the condition that a license was obtained.
 
In other business, the planners: 
 
Approved the transformation of the former Johnson Elementary School into 14 residential units: eight two-bedroom, one-bath (850 square feet); four two-bedroom, two-bath (1,200 square feet); one loft (600 square feet); one "penthouse" two bedroom, two bath (2,500 square feet); and four private offices with bathroom for tenant use. Storage, multipurpose room, bike area, dog washing and covered parking will be included. The project is being undertaken by Moresi & Associates, which purchased the property from the city last year. The permit was conditioned on owner David Moresi returning for approval of exterior lighting, parking and landscaping.
 
• Approved offices for ALC Outpatient Addiction Treatment, via President & CEO Paul Supranowicz, at 195 Ashland St.; a gallery request by Carolyn Clayton and Benjamin Westbrook at 165 East Main St., operating as Walkaway House, and to turn the first floor of the unattached garage into a metal fabrication studio (Hammeronsteel.com); Karlie Rush Photography at 60 Roberts Drive (Norad Mill); and the addition of solar panels to the roof of Northern Berkshire EMS on Harris Street. 

Tags: marijuana,   Planning Board,   

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North Adams Vaccine Clinic Passes 16,000 Doses Given

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 16,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered through the Northern Berkshire vaccine clinic.
 
Board of Health Chairman John Meaney, who as general manager of Northern Berkshire EMS has been part of the group operating the clinic, said it wasn't clear how many North Adams residents that included. 
 
As of last week, more than 5,000 residents in North Adams and Clarksburg had received at least one dose. The state tracks inoculations by ZIP code, which the city and town share, and may also include the town of Florida. The Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative is open to any Massachusetts residents and those who work or attend school here but reside in other states.
 
The clinic has been able to administer double the number of doses when it first opened, with more than 1,500 per clinic last week. But the number is dependent on the doses the collaborative gets from the state.
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