Last year in Springfield, MA, many cannabis cultivators had their applications rejected, except for one company whose $20 million marijuana cultivation facility was accepted, even though their initial site plan violated the city’s zoning requirement for a minimum buffer of 250 feet between the facility and the nearest residential property. Since then, the site plan has been changed to comply with city zoning, but many are questioning why it was accepted in the first place.
This piece sheds light on those who have political ties or significant business interests in the city, like $20 million, and how they receive biased treatment next to applicants who do not have such strong business interests. It is another barrier that seems to be having an impact on an industry whose goal, per the CCC, is to provide an equitable playing field for those who have been hurt most by the war on drugs.
Issues have been plaguing Springfield for over two years when a special permit for the INSA retail cannabis store was rejected and a judge later ordered the special permit to be issued (INSA opened its doors on June 5, 2021).
However, this current issue has been going on in Springfield since June 30, 2021 when it became public knowledge that the Springfield City Auditor was looking into the City’s Process for Picking Marijuana Businesses. It was requested then by City Councilor Justin Hurst, chair of the Audit Committee, who said he asked for it because of an allegation that a proposed cannabis cultivation business violates the zoning law.
Read the full article here.