Whately Select Board approves pact with marijuana cultivation company

  • The property at 7 River Road in Whately is the site of proposed marijuana cultivation establishment run by the Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Center. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 7/21/2020 9:30:58 PM

WHATELY — The Select Board has approved a host community agreement with a marijuana cultivation establishment on River Road.

Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Center (DMCTC), which held its remote community outreach meeting last month, recently appeared before the Select Board to review its site plans and the proposed host community agreement.

Jared Glanz-Berger, of DMCTC, told town officials that the company has a lease agreement at 7 River Road and intends to have a cultivation facility there of up to 100,000 square feet.

“We intend to start with 45,000 square feet of greenhouse,” Glanz-Berger said, noting that the group is contemplating both indoor and outdoor cultivation. “Per town bylaws, we intend to put the outdoor cultivation at the back of the property.”

The company’s counsel, attorney Blake Mensing, clarified that the 100,000 square feet would include both medical and adult-use marijuana, so as to not exceed the state’s total maximum.

Glanz-Berger said there would be security fencing and other state-required security standards in place, such as video cameras, and that the site plan — crafted by Berkshire Design Group — allows for 50-foot setbacks from neighboring properties.

Mensing also said the proposed facility would be on the “cutting edge” of sustainability practices for cannabis.

“Most grows occur in retrofitted warehouses and old mill buildings,” Mensing said, both of which require electricity.

He added that, in light of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the Cannabis Control Commission has prioritized outdoor grow facilities in the form of faster reviews and decreased application and annual fees.

“That’s another added benefit,” Mensing said.

Town Administrator Brian Domina said he and Select Board member Joyce Palmer-Fortune previously reviewed the host community agreement with the company’s representatives to discuss various changes that would put them “in line” with what other groups, such as NAP Advisors — another company that approached the town about a cultivation site — had agreed upon. Those changes were primarily in the language used, Domina explained.

Palmer-Fortune added that there were also references to COVID-19 included in parts of the agreement to allow for pandemic-related deadline flexibility.

“The substance is the same,” Domina noted.

Glanz-Berger said the company’s next stop will be the Conservation Commission. If all goes well, he said he hopes to be permitted to plant as early as spring of 2021.

“We look forward to operating in town,” he said.




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