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Recreational pot facility brought before Deerfield Selectboard

Old Deerfield Plastics facility would serve as growing, selling site



Recorder Staff
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Presenting the most sweeping of marijuana establishments in town to date, local business owner Mark Valone offered up his plans for a recreational and medical pot facility that will both sell and grow the product out of the old Deerfield Plastics facility on Greenfield Road.

Before the Deerfield Selectboard, and for the first time before town officials publicly, Valone, saddled by a team of business partners, including local first responder and planned operations and facility director Matthew Plotkin, explained his plans for a 28,000-square-foot cultivation center along with 2,400 square feet of retail space.

Most of the talking was done by local attorney Thomas Lesser — the Conway resident who has been involved with other pot endeavors in the state — who told the Selectboard the business team is generally willing to comply with what the town wants.

He said if plans move along swiftly, this business could be up and running within six months of being signed off on, because with the current facilities, they can begin building quickly.

“I think that’s a huge plus to town because we think we can be in operation sooner than anyone else,” Lesser said to the board.

While the business, under the name Deerfield Naturals, is far from building or from town approval, it came forward to the board with an extensive plan for a 13 acre facility.

Today, Deerfield Naturals will hold its mandatory community outreach meeting at the Town Hall at 7 p.m. It was originally planned to be at the Polish Club, but Valone said that building currently is battling structural problems.

Chairwoman Carolyn Shores Ness emphasized, as she has with other pot groups, the need for a strong educational element to the business. Lesser said at the moment they have $25,000 that is earmarked with intention for educational purposes. Ness stressed the point that this component will need to be discussed in more detail before a host agreement can be signed off on.

Also involved in the project will be former Massachusetts State Police trooper of 34 years and Deerfield resident Lt. John Carney. He will be the chief of security for Deerfield Naturals.

Others associated are: Beth Labbe to run human resources; James Frost to act as the cultivating consultant; Jason Cullinan as the medical manufacturing consultant; and Jelal Jones as the medical grow consultant.

The Selectboard reiterated to the pot group that all costs to the town must be put up by them. The town’s lawyer will have to review more documents as the number of pot companies that seek to come to Deerfield grow.

“We’re not subsidizing the marijuana industry,” Ness said. “We’re just covering our costs.”

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.