Published: 12/25/2020 8:44:59 PM
Modified: 12/25/2020 8:44:50 PM
ORANGE — The entity interested in opening a marijuana cultivation and manufacturing business on Quabbin Boulevard received no initial pushback in a required community outreach meeting earlier this week that allowed members of the public to have their voices heard.
Attorney Blake Mensing represented 3 Quabbin Boulevard at the short 27-minute remote meeting on Monday, and dairy farmer George Hunt Jr. was the only member of the public to speak as a resident.
Mensing, of The Mensing Group LLC, which bills itself as “the first, and only, homegrown legal and business advisory firm solely dedicated to cannabis in Massachusetts,” explained the facility proposed for 3 Quabbin Boulevard would have commercial-grade locks, and that anything done outdoors would be fenced in. He also said the state Cannabis Control Commission requires high-definition video cameras everywhere except the facility’s bathrooms.
“The reasoning for that is you have to be able to freeze-frame any frame of the video footage and identify whomever might be appearing on that,” Mensing explained. “Similarly, the video footage has to have, basically, irremovable watermarks with a date and time stamp, as well as providing information as to where in the facility the camera might be.”
He also said an employee hierarchy dictates who can go where within the marijuana cultivation and manufacturing business.
“This will not be a public-facing facility. It’s going to be something that you have to have a reason for visiting and, in particular, you have to be 21 years of age or older,” he said. “So this is not the kind of place where you can come knocking on the door and say, ‘Hey, I’d like a tour.’ That’s not enough. You need something else above and beyond that.”
Unlike liquor stores, Mensing said, marijuana establishments are not permitted to let in children “no matter what,” even when accompanied by a guardian.
“The simple … fact is you have to be responsible, like anything. So, hopefully you keep your liquor locked up or up high where kids can’t reach. I myself have two kids and, yeah, everything’s up way high — they can never possibly reach,” he said. “Same thing applies for cannabis. You’ve just got to be responsible. They’re not allowed to have it until they’re 21 or over.”
Mensing said 3 Quabbin Boulevard intends to “a good corporate citizen in Orange” and give back to the community through charitable donations or volunteer hours. He said he recommends the New England Veterans Alliance and the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council to his clients.
The facility will not constitute as a nuisance as defined by law, Mensing said. The chief potential nuisance complaint pertains to odor, and he said that can be addressed with technology — specifically circulation that scrubs air with activated carbon to filter and remove smell.
Dairy farmer George Hunt Jr. of Hunt Farm near Exit 15 chimed in to ask the location of Quabbin Boulevard’s third lot and was told it runs along the back side of Shingle Swamp Brook. Hunt said he also owns some land in the area and hopes the marijuana establishment is successful.
“I’m good with it,” he said. “I want to see it move ahead and do well.”