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Whately farmer James Pasiecnik continues seeking medical marijuana license

WHATELY — Farmer James Pasiecnik said Wednesday the moratorium the town adopted this week on medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries does not hamper his plans if he is granted a state license.

At a special Town Meeting on Tuesday, Whately residents placed a ban on medical marijuana treatment centers until May 30, 2014, to give the Planning Board time to develop local zoning rules to govern such dispensaries.

Planning Board member Judy Markland said the board is aiming to have zoning rules for residents to vote on by Town Meeting in April.

Pasiecnik, who has applied for one of the 35 state licenses to run a dispensary and grow center in Franklin County, said he is still moving forward with his application. Pasiecnik has proposed a cultivation center on his farm at 207 River Road under the nonprofit J.M. Farm’s Patient Group. He would not say exactly where the dispensary would go.

Pasiecnik is once again considering opening a dispensary in Deerfield.

He has set his sights on the former Disston Co. building within the Deerfield Industrial Park, which is being auctioned at 11 a.m. Oct. 28.

“I’m going to be there. It’s a possible site,” Pasiecnik said.

For 15 years, Disston, a tool company, based its operations at 5 Industrial Drive West until moving to Chicopee this summer.

The 275,000-square-foot building was owned by Deerfield Plaza LLC until the bank foreclosed on it. The minimum bid is set at $75,000.

Pasiecnik also said he owns property within the industrial district in South Deerfield that could be a possible dispensary site.

The Deerfield Planning Board has proposed creating an overlay district for medical marijuana dispensary and grow centers that encompasses the planned industrial district and the lower portion of the industrial district — two areas that could be zoned for treatment centers.

The planned industrial district is made up of the industrial park off Route 116, while the portion of the industrial district cited is south of Elm Street across from Red Roof Inn and Yankee Candle Co. The town will vote on the zoning bylaw at a special Town Meeting on Oct. 28.

So far, Pasiecnik has support from the Whately Select Board. The Deerfield Select Board has not decided.

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