Pasiecnik nixes pot dispensary in Deerfield
DEERFIELD — Whately potato farmer James Pasiecnik is no longer looking to put a registered medical marijuana dispensary in Deerfield and he has zeroed in on Whately.
Under J.M. Farm’s Patient Group, Pasiecnik is one of five applicants vying for a license to open a dispensary in Franklin County. Pasiecnik said he would like to grow medical marijuana on 35,000 square feet of his River Road property. Pasiecnik wouldn’t say where he’d like to put a dispensary in Whately.
The state Department of Public Health can provide up to 35 licenses across the state. Each of the state’s 13 counties is required to have at least one dispensary and no more than five.
Pasiecnik has stepped back from Deerfield because of the Planning Board’s proposed zoning regulations that will be discussed at a hearing on Monday.
The proposed zoning rules bans medical marijuana facilities within a 500 feet radius of a school, day care center or any facility in which children congregate. The state regulations require dispensaries to not be within 1,000 feet of a school.
Pasiecnik said he had planned to put a dispensary on 28 acres he owns across the street from Channing Bete Co. off Routes 5 and 10. The property, he said, is close to 500 feet from Frontier Regional School.
Pasiecnik also said he dislikes how the Deerfield Board of Selectmen is questioning the state Department of Public Health’s policies for medical marijuana.
“I don’t want to work with people like that,” Pasiecnik said. “I’d rather work with Whately.”
Recently, the Whately Board of Selectmen told Pasiecnik it would support his venture and draft a letter of community support. The Deerfield board, however, declined to say whether it would support Pasiecnik’s proposal.
As part of his application to the state, Pasiecnik must demonstrate community support to get a license.
On Oct. 15, Whately residents will be asked to consider a one-year moratorium on dispensaries.
Despite that, Pasiecnik remains undeterred.
With 70 percent of Whately voters supporting the 2012 state ballot question to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, Pasiecnik said, “I don’t believe the town will vote a moratorium.”