Pot company withdraws plans for cultivation site in Chesterfield


Staff Writer
Published: 2/25/2021 3:00:51 PM

CHESTERFIELD — Following a lengthy public forum Wednesday night, Ember Gardens has decided not to move forward with a proposed marijuana growing facility on Willcutt Road.

Ember Gardens, a southeastern Massachusetts-based company, made the announcement Thursday in a statement to the Select Board and residents.

“At Ember Gardens, one of our core missions is our community values. As such, we have heard the community and will not be moving forward with our proposed cultivation site in Chesterfield on Willcutt Road. The quality of life will be more affected by this proposal than we expected and that was never our goal or intention,” the statement reads.

“We hope that the discussion up to this point will serve as a useful steppingstone for Chesterfield to move forward into incorporating regulated cannabis into the community. In the meantime, Ember Gardens will continue to look for the right community and location to host our organic cannabis farm.”

Ember Gardens was seeking to relocate its cultivation license from Middleborough to Chesterfield. The proposed facility would have been built on a more than 10-acre site off of Willcutt Road that would have featured both outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivation, grown organically using a no-till method. Ember Gardens also gave a final hiring estimate of more than 100 employees for the facility.

Eileen Theroux, a Willcutt Road resident, was at the virtual forum, which went on for more than four hours. She said the forum was run and facilitated well and featured many questions from residents. These included questions about the project’s potential revenue, its proximity to the school, traffic, public safety and environmental concerns.

“We wish them well,” Theroux said on the news that the project would not be moving forward. “I just think the town has some work to do to prepare for something like this.”

Theroux also said that residents spoke about the importance of quality of life at the forum.

“That was huge, huge, huge to the town residents,” she said.

 Select Board Chairman Roger  Fuller said he wasn’t surprised that Ember Gardens chose to withdraw, given the input it received at the forum.

“There’s no way you wouldn’t feel you weren’t wanted by the end of that,” he said.

And going forward, he said the Select Board might appoint a committee to study the cannabis industry so the town can be better prepared for the next applicant.

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