SWL: Planning Board displeased with marijuana dispensary security plan

by beth on July 20, 2016

On Monday night, the Planning Board began its Site Plan Review of the CommCan’s planned Medical Marijuana dispensary. According to Southborough Wicked Local, Town officials were dismayed by a perceived weak spot in CommCan’s security plan.

The planned facility at 255 Turnpike Road is a sore spot with many residents who deem it too close to residences and schools. One concern voiced has been potential for crime. The Zoning Board of Appeals conditioned the special permit for the site partly on

Planning Board members and attending selectmen were displeased that the business eliminated plans for a previously discussed secure garage. Purportedly, before CommCan received approvals from selectmen and the Zoning Board of Appeals they discussed using a secure garage with both boards. The garage would be used for moving product and money between the facility and its vehicles.

On Monday night, the board was told that was no longer the case:

Dan Merrikin of Merrikin Engineering said during the Planning Board’s site plan review that the area was removed because of space. “We have certain constraints,” he said.

Instead, they will move money and product through the “secure” front door.

Planning Board member Andrew Mills said it would be obvious when marijuana deliveries are being made, especially if using the front door.

Marc Rosenfeld, CEO of CommCan, said it was his intent to use the garage but it was never made as a condition of the ZBA special permit.

The ZBA’s approval did ask CommCan to work through security issues with Southborough Police. But that condition was specified through reaching a Host Agreement with selectmen approved by the Police Chief. That agreement has been reached and doesn’t include language related to a secure garage.

However, the Host Agreement does allow selectmen to cancel it at any time. Selectmen claimed that the ZBA permit approval is no good without the agreement. Between that and Planning Board’s vote on the Site Plan Review, the Town does appear to have leverage.

According to the article selectmen Brian Shea and Paul Cimino voiced concern about the lack of a secure garage. Cimino said he would like to hear more about “how it will be done in the alternative”.

Chief Kenneth Paulhus said he would like a secure garage. But he also said he would look into how other dispensaries are handling deliveries.

The hearing was continued to September 19th.

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