Medical marijuana advocacy group interested in South Hadley facility

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Medical Marijuana supporters hope to see a dispensary open here in western Massachusetts sooner rather than later.

A medical marijuana advocacy group from Boston was in South Hadley Wednesday night to answer some questions about the state medical marijuana law. 22News cameras were not allowed inside South Hadley Public Library where people met to discuss safe patient access to medical marijuana.

Matthew Allen from the Massachusetts Patients Advocacy Alliance told 22News in some communities, a delay in ordinance changes is holding up the process to move forward.

“Dealing with local permitting and regulatory issues, and those communities that are behind could face delays,” said Allen.

The meeting comes one day after the South Hadley Select board unanimously approved plans to build a medical marijuana growing facility here in South Hadley.

The industrial building on Gaylord Street is currently vacant but with the Select board’s approval, Patriot Care Corporation will turn a portion of that building into a medical marijuana growing facility.

22News talked to some neighbors who said they have no problem with having a growing facility near them and they said the state’s moving too slowly on what could be job opportunities for some people.

Michael Sullivan, a South Hadley Town Administrator, told 22News, “Police department, sheriff’s offices, there will be security cameras in the area, but it will breathe some life in to this building that’s 160,000 sq. ft. of empty space.”

“30 people will get jobs and why not? Right now the way the economy is the more jobs they can add the better,” said Randy Joyce of South Hadley.

Patriot Care received a license from the state Department of Public Health to build a dispensary in Lowell.

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