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Medical Marijuana Facility Approved To Go Forward

by Matt Ristaino
June 27, 2017

The Board of Selectmen passed a motion to sign a letter of non-opposition for a medical marijuana facility at 29 Everett Street during their meeting on Monday. The motion passed by a vote of two to one, with Mark Ahronian and Jay Marsden voting in favor, and chairman Kevin Conley voting against it.

This letter of non-opposition does not mean that there will be a medical marijuana facility moving into the Everett St. location, but it does move the process along to the Planning Board. As in past meetings, there was a lot of debate surrounding the issue.

The main point of contention is that the proposed site is too close to Shen’s Gymnastics Academy. Zufang Shen, the owner of Shen’s Gymnastics, said that a medical marijuana facility this close to her gym would have a negative impact on business.

Ron Lipof of the New England Cannabis Corporation talks to the board. 

“I can’t say for 100 per cent, but I can say 99 per cent of parents said no [to the facility],” said Shen. Shen emphasized that she was completely supportive of medical marijuana and the New England Cannabis Corporation, which would run the facility, just not in that particular location.

That sentiment was echoed by the majority of people who spoke at the meeting. Parents of children who go to the academy said they wouldn’t feel comfortable with such a facility so close. Ellen Mayce, the office manager at Shen’s, said that many parents had told her that they would withdraw their children from the gym if the facility was approved. Jim Cormier, owner of Cormier Self Defense Academy, expressed similar concerns. 

There is also the issue of the proposed facility being 350 feet from the gym, and not the state-required 500 feet from any large gathering place for children. Under the state law, individual towns are able to set distance requirements for facilities in their town, but if they do not, then the state’s requirement of 500 feet takes effect. The selectmen said that they were willing to let the Planning Board or even a Town Meeting deal with that issue.

Ron Lipof of the New England Cannabis Corporation attempted to address parents’ concerns that their children would be exposed to a marijuana facility. He said that medical marijuana facilities are required to transport their product in unmarked, normal cars. He also said that there would be no markings on the building, and the building would be set away behind trees and security fences. He also stressed that this was a medical marijuana facility, not recreational.

Both Ahronian and Marsden agreed with  Lipof. Ahronian pointed to the fact that the area in question in zoned for industry, so it wouldn’t be fair if they denied a permit for a manufacturing facility. Marsden seemed to think many of the concerns about negative effects on children and business were unfounded.

“Bertucci’s isn’t closing up shop just because there is a vape shop two doors down,” Marsden said.

Both he and Ahronian stressed this is purely a medicine facility, and they should not be driving industrial businesses and corporate tax money away from the town. There will surely be more debate surrounding the issue as it moves on to the Planning Board.


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Comments (1)

I assume this is the same Ron Lipof named in this story in the Globe. I wonder as a resident of a neighboring town if perhaps he would consider opening his growing facility there? article

- Anne-Marie | 6/27/17 5:58 PM



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