January 8 2018

Plans for Blanchard Road Medical Marijuana Dispensary Withdrawn

By: Rich Hosford

Plans for a medical marijuana dispensary on Blanchard Road have been pulled from consideration.

 

The town’s website states that proposed dispensary at 68 Blanchard Road “has requested to be withdrawn.” Planning Department staff explained that status will be in place until the Planning Board officially votes to accept the withdrawal.

 

The proposed dispensary was put forward by Mission Massachusetts, Inc., which was looking to build a 4,336 gross square foot, two-story medical marijuana dispensary on the parcel. The site, zoned General Industrial, is currently the location of two mobile homes.

 

When the project was first discussed at the Planning Board meeting on November 2 it was challenged by many neighbors and abutters. A number of residents, most who live in the area on or around Blanchard Road, said they were afraid of what impact the dispensary would have on their neighborhoods. They raised a number of concerns, including the message the dispensary sends to children about the acceptability of drug use, the potential for dispensary customers selling their medical marijuana to others for recreational use and an increase in traffic.There were also people who were afraid that the dispensary would be a target for thieves and that activity might spill over into the surrounding neighborhoods.

Those concerns were not the reason the plans were withdrawn.

Attorney Robert Buckley of Riemer & Braunstein, who was represents the group, said the project was deemed unviable due to parking at the site.

“There were issues trying to make the parking work,” he said. “The site was going to be tight on parking and wasn’t going to be ideal.”

 

Buckley said he and the proponents from Mission Massachusetts thought they could have addressed the concerns raised by residents about the project.

 

“Many of the issues raised we thought we could address,” he said. “There was a lot of misinformation out there.”

 

He said it was possible Mission Massachusetts would attempt to find another location in town but said the 2014 zoning bylaw passed by Town Meeting that limits where dispensaries can be setup, with the condition that they cannot be located near schools, parks, churches and other “vulnerable” locations, made finding a spot difficult.


“They may look in town for another location, I suppose, they are not foreclosing that possibility,” he said. “But given the way the bylaw is written it is difficult to find one that works.”

 

 
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