Deerfield Selectboard OKs host community agreement for pot company on Routes 5 and 10

  • The concept plan for SunnyDayzCannabis’ “state-of-the-art” campus across from Tree House Brewing on Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield. The facility would feature three cultivation buildings, a retail dispensary and a third-party testing laboratory. Screenshot

Staff Writer
Published: 9/12/2021 5:00:22 PM

DEERFIELD — The Selectboard approved Washington-based SunnyDayzCannabis’ host community agreement last week for a “state-of-the-art” campus across from Tree House Brewing on Routes 5 and 10, which will include three marijuana cultivation buildings, a retail dispensary and a third-party testing laboratory.

All three Selectboard members raised concerns about commitment to the town and funding sources, as the town has been burned in the past after companies failed to follow through on the details of host community agreements.

Selectboard Chair David Wolfram brought up Deerfield’s difficult past with host community agreements and asked SunnyDayz LLC CEO Ken Bouquillon if the company is committed to Deerfield.

“One concern for me is Deerfield is very progressive and was one of the first communities to get approved for cannabis cultivation in Western Massachusetts, and right now it seems like we’re one of the last ones to get it,” Wolfram said. “To be blunt, are you fully funded?”

Bouquillon, who noted he has “40 years” of construction experience, said his company is “very much excited” to join Deerfield and has the experience to get this project done.

“This isn’t our first rodeo,” he said. “We have the team to do this and we’re funded.”

In his presentation to the Selectboard and public, Bouquillon highlighted the projected $3.5 million annual tax revenue for Deerfield, which is based on data from four years of operating a similar facility in Seattle. The facility would also create approximately 130 jobs for the community, with pay ranging from $15 to $50 per hour.

Bouquillon said the dispensary would be the only building visible from Routes 5 and 10 and no residents abut the property. He added that SunnyDayz LLC will design its buildings using community and town government input to best fit Deerfield’s character.

“As this process goes along, I’d want some feedback from the town,” Bouquillon said. “We’ll build the kind of building the town wants.”

The company will contribute to community health and drug abuse prevention programs as well as provide at least 150 paid volunteer hours per year in the town as a special permit condition.

“However the Selectboard would like us to work,” he said. “Whatever the community needs, we’ll be there for you.”

Bouquillon also included a projected timeline for the project in his presentation. SunnyDayz LLC will apply for a Cannabis Control Commission license on Oct. 15; apply for a special permit and architectural review process on Feb. 15, 2022; break ground in May 2022; and complete construction by October or November of next year.

The Selectboard was encouraged by Bouquillon’s plans and members said they are “excited” for the economic benefits the facility could bring to Deerfield. Wolfram said this kind of development could lower taxes that have been rising.

“I think everything looks good there,” Wolfram said. “We need additional funding sources for the town of Deerfield. … Things like this can help mitigate (rising taxes) and get things back to where they were before.”

Fellow Selectboard member Trevor McDaniel said he feels “pretty comfortable” with the detailed plans and he is happy with the prior experience of SunnyDayz LLC.

“We’ve all been through this quite a bit,” McDaniel said. “I’m really excited about the plans you have and the vision you have.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.




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