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Medical Marijuana

2 eye same Deerfield land for dispensary site

Both groups offer $2K monthly rent

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Two applicants vying for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Franklin County are competing for the same Deerfield property.

A 15,747-square-foot space at 10 Greenfield Road has become the hot spot for dispensaries.

A New Leaf Inc., co-directed by Joshua Goldman of Montague, and JM Farm’s Patient Group, co-directed by James Pasiecnik of Whately, are both bidding for the property off Routes 5 and 10.

The property is part of a developed lot owned by Greenfield Road LLC, a real estate company owned by Mark Valone of South Deerfield, who would be the landlord of whichever dispensary moves in.

Valone has drawn up two proposed lease agreements with the two medical marijuana groups.

Valone said he has an offer from both groups — each have made the same offer of $2,000 a month to rent the property — but nothing has been finalized yet. He said he hopes to have a decision on who gets the space by the end of next week.

“Whoever gets the license gets the space,” Valone said. “Both are bidding for it. JM Farm’s is the front-runner for the space. He’s a serious contender.”

There are five applicants who are seeking a state license to run a registered medical marijuana dispensary in Franklin County. There are 35 licenses available and each county in the state must have at least one dispensary and no more than five.

Pasiecnik, a long-time Whately potato farmer is working with Nicholas Spagnola of Revere and Joshua Soditis of Somerville to open a dispensary and grow center. He said he met with Valone this week to finalize the details and believes he will get the property.

Pasiecnik initially said he’d like to open a dispensary and cultivation center in Whately, but he said the Deerfield property has opportunity for growth.

The property, he said, could encompass retail, production and cultivation of medical marijuana. Pasiecnik had planned to grow the plant at his farm on 207 River Road in Whately, but he now worries the recently approved moratorium in Whately could jeopardize his plans.

The town passed a temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers until May 2014. He said he’d like to have the operation up and running as soon as he obtains a state license.

Goldman is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Australis Aquaculture, a fish farm in Montague. Working with Goldman is Marina Goldman and Susan Lowry, also of Montague.

Goldman did not return calls for comment on this story.

The lot

The favored building lot falls within the section of the industrial district that allows for medical marijuana dispensaries.

This week, the town approved a new zoning bylaw creating a medical marijuana overlay district made up of the planned industrial district and some of the current industrial district.

Specifically, dispensaries would be allowed in the industrial park off Route 116 and a segment south of Elm Street, bordering the railroad to the east, Route 5 to the west and the Whately town line to the south.

The property being bid on is one of few available places in Deerfield where a dispensary could open, Valone said.

Yankee Candle’s open space and Crop Production Services already take up most of the industrial district zoned for medical marijuana dispensaries.

While some in town believe the former Disston Tools site at 5 Industrial Drive West would be ideal for a dispensary, Valone explained its chances are slim. LaSalle Bank purchased the building for $3.8 million this week. Valone said if the bank tries to sell the building, it would take too long and come after the state issues dispensary licenses. The building also has too costly of an overhead charge for the new medical marijuana industry.

The rest of the industrial park, meanwhile, is filled.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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