US (MA): Holyoke City Council proceeds with special permits for cannabis businesses

The City Council’s Ordinance Committee continued public hearings for Green Highland LLC and Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative. Both companies are seeking special permits for cannabis operations. Ward 6 Councilor Juan Anderson-Burgos, the committee’s vice-chair, led the meeting. Committee chair Rebecca Lisi was absent. Both companies last appeared before the committee May 25.

Green Highland LLC proposes building and operating cannabis retail, cultivation, and processing establishment at 24 Hadley Mills Road. Company representatives first appeared before the committee March 2. Anderson-Burgos said the Planning Department and City Engineer received revised documents from Green Highland that focused on easements for accessible parking.

The company is working on a joint access agreement with Trulieve, converting the former Conklin Furniture Showroom into a growing facility. Ward 5 Councilor Linda Vacon asked the access agreement between Green Highland and Trulieve be added as a condition to the special permit. Anderson-Burgos agreed with Vacon to include the condition.

The committee said Green Highland must deal with “all outstanding issues identified by the Planning Department or City Engineer letters be addressed.” The committee also said outstanding issues with the water and fire service serving the building exist. “No building permit should be issued for this project until all these issues are resolved,” Anderson-Burgos informed Green Highland.

An April 5 email submitted by the company’s attorney mentioned a developing agreement between Green Highland and Trulieve, which should clear up access to both facilities. The project cannot proceed until an “executed” copy of the agreement is submitted to the City of Holyoke. Isaac C. Fleisher, an attorney with Bacon and Wilson, said Green Highland is working out a deal with Trulieve for access rights that three other abutters share.

“All three parcels have right of way across that passage pursuant to their deeds. But there is a question about that there’s going to be so much new use on this campus of sorts,” Fleisher explained. “How can we manage that traffic in a safe way? That’s the agreement we’re working on.” 

The committee reopened a brief hearing for Mass Cannabis Growers Cooperative, which plans a cannabis manufacturing establishment and cultivation facility at 11 Jackson St.

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