Editorial: Medical marijuana dispensary’ slow progress

Last modified: 12/3/2015 6:07:59 PM
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Feb. 1 is now the target date for a medical marijuana dispensary to open in Greenfield. Once the Greenfield site opens, it will join other operations around the state, in what can be only described as deliberate growth, given that just a month or so ago there were only four such facilities open for business, including one in Northampton. The reasons for the delay here include the need to renovate the building that Patriot Care Corp, the nonprofit behind the dispensary, will be using and because the cultivation facility had to be moved from South Hadley to Lowell. As it turns out, though, people getting their cards for purchasing medical marijuana is moving at a faster pace. Even with a 15-step process, that number now sits at more than 12,000 and growing. Maybe 2016 will be the year for the dispensary numbers to take off.

An investment that pays off

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And while that may sound more about health, we also think it can apply to things like energy-efficiency upgrades. Greenfield continues to invest in such upgrades, from changing the light bulbs used in the streetlights to LED ones to installing new windows and insulation in buildings such as the Green River School, and while the town has to spend money now, it will be repaid through energy savings over time. We know that Greenfield isn’t the only community to be doing this. It just makes too much sense.

Sunderland affordable housing

We’re glad to see that Sunderland is again working on ways to create more affordable housing in town. One of the steps is taking place with an update of its Housing Production Plan, something that last happened eight years ago. The affordable housing issue has been one the community has wrestled with in recent years, including the now infamous court battle with the developer of a piece of property off Plumtree Road, that eventually wound up with the Supreme Judicial Court. The plan update won’t be a cure-all, but it can help the town meet its legal obligation to provide what the state deems to be low-income housing.

Hope for the Charlemont Inn

Anyone who loves history, architecture and Charlemont, have to be buoyed by the recent events surrounding the Charlemont Inn. The owners have obtained a building permit for roof repairs and have taken care of past taxes on the building. While the building is still not out of jeopardy yet — there’s still a little matter of the Board of Health’s condemnation order, among other legal matters and repairs — there’s a little light of hope here.




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