Belchertown inks pact for pot shop 

  • A marijuana plant  AP PHOTO/RICHARD VOGEL

Staff Writer
Published: 4/2/2019 5:24:09 PM

BELCHERTOWN — Following in the footsteps of Northampton and Easthampton, Belchertown could become home to a recreational marijuana facility at 39 Federal St. as early as this fall. 

The town has signed a host community agreement with Stow-based Evergreen Strategies LLC, said Belchertown Town Administrator Gary Brougham, marking a “milestone” in bringing the facility to town.

“Folks voted for it, and the state is making it possible,” Brougham said. “For folks who enjoy the cannabis products, it’s great. For those who don't, it’s been made legal by the state … and we will abide by the law.”

If Evergreen remains on track with meeting additional licensing requirements, Brougham said that he expects the dispensary to open in September or October. 

Residents voted to allow recreational marijuana establishments in town at a May 2018 Town Meeting. 

Evergreen agreed to pay a 3-percent local sales tax, Brougham said, adding that the company has been “very easy to work with.” Attempts to reach representatives from the company were unsuccessful Tuesday.  

Brougham acknowledged that the dispensary’s planned location at the plaza off Route 9 is “a high visibility, popular destination,” which may cause some traffic congestion, but added that the intersection is regulated by a traffic light and that the increasing number of dispensaries opening elsewhere in Massachusetts will likely alleviate traffic.

“I think in time with folks knowing who has the pricing and the product, they will establish their favorite destination,” Brougham said, “and I think the initial, possibly high traffic volume will correct itself.”

The location previously housed flooring contractor Superior Floor Solutions. 

Before opening, Evergreen will need to obtain a special permit from the Planning Board, petition the state Cannabis Control Commission for licensing and work closely with police to secure the property and assure legal compliance, Brougham said. 

Evergreen Strategies is also in the process of opening dispensaries in North Adams and Worcester, according to state records. 

Multiple parties looked into opening a recreational dispensary in Belchertown, Brougham said, and Evergreen Strategies was among the first to express interest. 

While Brougham does not expect an influx of dispensaries in town, he said “another shop in Belchertown isn’t out of the question.”

NETA in Northampton and INSA in Easthampton are currently the only recreational facilities operating in Hampshire County. Greenfield dispensary Patriot Care began recreational sales on Tuesday. 

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 

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