The Heirloom Collective agrees to revised host community agreement in Bernardston

  • AP FILE PHOTO/Marina Riker AP FILE PHOTO/Marina Riker

Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2021 5:44:29 PM
Modified: 12/15/2021 5:43:54 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Selectboard and The Heirloom Collective, a marijuana retailer seeking to open a dispensary next to its cultivation facility, agreed on a revised host community agreement Tuesday afternoon.

The agreement sets a flat rate for the organization’s community impact fees, with a five-year impact fee payment plan of $112,500, $137,500 $162,500, $162,500 and $112,500. The Heirloom Collective seeks to add a retail dispensary and offices to its existing cultivation facility located at 87 Northfield Road (Route 10), as well as expand the cultivation facility itself.

The Heirloom Collective CEO Jim Counihan and co-founder Tim Van Epps met with the Selectboard and attorney Katherine Feodoroff to discuss the terms.

The agreement was one of several options presented by the organization and the fees set were the middle ground between the minimum and maximum payments. Van Epps and Counihan said flat rates are better than percentages because that way the town knows how much money it can expect to receive and the organization knows how much it owes.

“It’s going to take time,” Van Epps said, “but I think we have a very good shot of doing well there.”

Payments to the town will begin three fiscal quarters after the dispensary opens. The building is still under construction and the process is “taking a bit longer than we all thought it was going to take,” according to Counihan.

The Heirloom Collective began growing its first rounds of marijuana flower in December 2018. Counihan previously said the company’s first — and currently only — dispensary, at 457 Russell St. in Hadley, sees an average of 150 customers a day. It opened in May 2020.

In late August, the Planning Board approved a special permit allowing The Heirloom Collective to build a 40,455-square-foot addition onto its existing cannabis grow facility and construct a 4,500-square-foot office and retail dispensary. The site is in the Expedited Permitting District.

The contract was not signed at Tuesday’s meeting as Feodoroff will iron out some of the details with Counihan, but both Counihan and Van Epps were happy with the agreed upon terms.

The Selectboard was also pleased with the terms, said Chair Robert Raymond.

“I’m pretty happy with them,” Raymond said by phone following Tuesday’s meeting. “All we’re trying to do is get the best benefit we can without putting them out of business.”

He said the town “has no idea” how much business The Heirloom Collective will do and the flat rate will help the business get its feet on the ground.

“We’re all in this together,” Raymond said. “We do know that Heirloom is a good brand. Whatever they produce in Bernardston is sold (at The Heirloom Collective’s Hadley dispensary).”

The fees will be listed as impact fees, but Raymond is unsure as to how the business may impact the community. He added that traffic on Northfield Road is already particularly busy with the nearby Dollar General and Crumpin-Fox Club, and people entering and exiting Interstate 91.

“We don’t have any idea on what the impact will be,” Raymond said. “We’re kind of worried about that. It’s a lengthy wait as it is now, never mind with marijuana.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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