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Chicopee – The City Council has approved a zone change, giving a Springfield company the final approval it needs to open the first medical marijuana clinic in Hampden County.

The Council agreed to rezone a 3,270 square foot piece of land on East Main Street from residential to industrial. While the property is owned by Eversource, the request was made by Thomas Murphy, lawyer for Mass Alternative Care Inc.

The company plans to convert the former Chicopee Engineering Associates building at 1247 East Main St. into a medical marijuana dispensary and grow facility. The building is located on the Springfield border.

The City Council had already voted in April to grant a special permit to allow Mass Alternative Care Inc. to open a dispensary and cultivation facility. In addition to receiving real estate taxes on the property, Chicopee will also receive a host agreement payment that will be a minimum of $50,000 a year and will increase depending on the earnings of the company.

There has been little controversy over the facility. The special permit was granted in a 9-0 vote and the zone change was approved 12-0 with one abstention.

But, the city’s medical marijuana ordinance requires marijuana clinics to be located on commercial or industrial land and at least 300 feet from a residential zone. The business is located on industrial property but the business could not go forward without a zone change because the Eversource parcel was within 300 feet of the business.

“I see no reason not to grant this,” City Councilor Shane Brooks said. “The majority of the property there was zoned industrial.”

City Planner Lee Pouliot called the property a “spot zone” since the parcel did not match most of the surrounding property in the area which was zoned for industry.

The only other proposal for a medical marijuana clinic in Hampden County is in Springfield. The plan from Hampden Care Facility Inc., of Chicopee, to put a dispensary at 506 Cottage St., in on hold after the City Council rejected a host agreement.

Mass Alternative Care Inc., which changed its name from Baystate Compassion Center Inc., is headquartered at 1 Monarch Place, Suite 1900, Springfield. Its officers are President Kevin Collins of Springfield, Treasurer David Spannaus of Brookfield, Connecticut, Clerk Heather Andresen of Longmeadow, Director Ronald Paasch of Northampton, and Director Nicholas Tamborring of Fairfield, Connecticut, according to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office.

It is not known when renovations will begin. Murphy, the company’s lawyer, did not return calls for comment.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Chicopee Marijuana Dispensary Proposal Recieves Final Approval
Author: Jeanette DeForge
Contact: MassLive
Photo Credit: Jeanette DeForge
Website: MassLive