Aspiring pot shop gets community host agreement

  • The site of a potential future marijuana dispensary by Diamond Shine LLC at 85 State Road in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/3/2019 6:03:03 PM

WHATELY — The Connecticut woman who wants to open a recreational marijuana dispensary on State Road can apply to the Cannabis Control Commission for a license, having secured a community host agreement from the town.

Dr. Karen Gaston, of Diamond Shine LLC in East Granby, Conn., must now go before the Whately Zoning Board of Appeals to get a variance and special permit to set up shop at 85 State Road, the former home of 1 Call Does It All real estate liquidation. Gaston mentioned she hopes to open the doors by the end of the year.

“I just feel so good about it,” she said, adding that she has been working toward this goal for roughly a year. “It’s a long time coming, that’s for sure.”

Gaston said she has a doctorate in educational psychology and runs Elegant Clinical Corporation, a not-for-profit organization in East Windsor, Conn., serving people with developmental and mental health disabilities. She said she is interested in marijuana’s healing components.

She also has a cannabidiol store, called LNK-CBD, in East Windsor, Conn. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is used for medical purposes and does not get people high. Diamond Shine also grows hemp in East Granby, Conn., and in Whately.

“Everything is about healing for us,” Gaston said.

Though her limited liability company is still federally recognized as Diamond Shine, Gaston renamed it Shine Diamond LLC at the state level because there was already a Diamond Shine in Massachusetts.

At the June 26 Selectboard meeting, member Frederick Orloski commended Gaston and the traffic engineer she hired, saying they did a thorough job. Selectboard member Jonathan Edwards, however, expressed frustration over grammatical and typographical errors in the engineer’s report.

“When a town name is spelled incorrectly, repeatedly, and when there are other typos, misspellings, grammatical problems, it drives me crazy,” he told Gaston. “These are public documents. We’re supposed to be stewards of strong education and … it wasn’t ready for prime time.”

Gaston said she understood and agreed. She said she will be diligent about making sure reports are free of errors in the future.

Diamond Shine is also interested in building an indoor marijuana cultivation site on Greenfield Road in Deerfield. The land is a wooded area on Routes 5 and 10 that has no address and abuts Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital. Gaston wants her operation to be one that is “seed to sale.”

“We want to control what’s being sold,” she said.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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