North End neighbors say “no way” to cannabis dispensary
A cannabis company named Baystate Herbal Solutions was met with opposition from those who attended their recent community outreach meeting. The business is proposing to locate a recreational cannabis dispensary at 464 Hanover Street in the North End neighborhood of Boston. The location was previously the site of a 7-Eleven convenience store. During a virtual meeting held on Wednesday evening representatives from Baystate Herbal Solutions shared their plans with members of the neighborhood. The North End of Boston is known for being an old residential neighborhood with Italian charm. CEO Liam Bennett, a social equity program participant, is looking to become a part of the vibrant North End community. The presentation indicated that the company is also interested in obtaining a delivery operator license that would allow then to wholesale, repackage, and deliver cannabis products from the site.
The two hour meeting included several speakers who took the opportunity to share their discomfort with the proposal. Retired chief probation officer Daniel Passacantilli called marijuana a gateway drug and said that while he voted in favor of legalizing marijuana in 2016 he believes that this is not the right location for a dispensary. Damien DiPaola felt that the dispensary is too close to the schools and churches in the neighborhood and that the facility would be better suited elsewhere. A spokesperson for State Representative Aaron Michlewitz also shared his opposition to the project. Some expressed frustration with the fact that Zoom was used to conduct the meeting because the number of participants was limited at 100. Baystate Herbal Solutions said they will work to be a good neighbor and reach out to residents to discuss concerns as the process moves forward.