Baystate Herbal Solutions (Proposed Hanover St pot shop) BCB Hearing

Baystate Herbal Solutions (Proposed Hanover St pot shop) BCB Hearing

Baystate Herbal Solutions seeks to open an adult use recreational marijuana dispensary at 464 Hanover Street. The North End community is already familiar with Baystate due to the community meeting hosted by ONS back in September. You can read our coverage of the community meeting at which more than a dozen people, including residents and condo owners at 464 Hanover, Parents of Eliot School children, and other North End residents spoke in opposition to their plans.

Today's hearing was step "who knows?" according to this overly complex diagram of the process to open a recreational pot shop.

Many of the same people who spoke in opposition at the community meeting turned up today with mostly the same arguments:

  • Even if the the dispensary is outside of the 500 foot school buffer zone (a State Cannabis Control Commission regulation), it's still too close.
  • Even if the dispensary is outside of the 1/2 mile existing dispensary buffer zone (a City Zoning Code Article), it's still too close.
  • Even if the opposition supports recreational marijuana (which the neighborhood voted in support of), this isn't the right place for one.
  • Even if Baystate has a signed lease, the other owners at the condo building do not support them as a tenant.

Several also voiced concerns about patrons smoking product purchased at 464 around the corner at Charter Street Park. [Note: It's unclear how this would be different from the folks who drink beer and smoke cigarettes in that park daily, but - like the other arguments - it is a legitimate concern for some, especially one mother who expressed concerns about it exacerbating her child's asthma.] There were also questions about how Baystate went about gathering signatures for their support petition including from Licensing Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce.

Representatives from State Senator Aaron Michlewitz's and Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta's offices registered their opposition.

Unfortunately, no one from the opposition seemed to be making an honest effort to work with the petitioner on any of these concerns. Nor did the petitioner seem willing to work with the opposition.

Missed opportunities?

Ironically, the same hearing included an agenda item for Patriot Care on Milk street. Patriot Care was in front of the board because they had reportedly sold a pre-rolled joint - among other things. Patriot Care has a condition on their license that they may not sell pre-rolled joints. This condition was put into place by the Boston Cannabis Board specifically to address concerns raised during their application around patrons consuming product near the establishment. The fact that the two sides aren't working together may indicate that the opposition is missing their opportunity to request conditions like this.

This wasn't the only condition that that CBC placed on Patriot Care's license. The CBC also placed a condition where Patriot care could only operate by appointment for the first six months. The recording of the September 16th, 2020 meeting where these conditions were requested by the community can be watched here starting at 1:10:59. So far, no specific conditions for the license have been requested by the North End.

Watch the recording of today's hearing below.

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