“I met with the City’s Consultant and legal team yesterday on a number of important issues involving Adult Use Marijuana pending with the City and wanted to update the public on the areas we discussed including: the Phase Two process to implement Adult Use Marijuana in the City of Springfield; requests to amend two Host Community Agreements I previously issued; and the expectation that the City will be having two new Adult Use Establishments in the near future,” Mayor Sarno stated.
The Mayor announced in September that he initiated the process to update the Request for Proposal Process to comply with changes in the law and regulations as well as the changing environment caused by the COVID–19 Coronavirus since the last round and to build on the experience gained in the first round of applications and approvals. It was anticipated that an RFP/Q for applications including for Host Agreements for a variety of licenses including retail establishments, cultivation, and delivery could be issued in October. However, the State Cannabis Control Commission has delayed a vote on the comprehensive overhaul of the regulations, which has delayed the issuance of the RFP/Q.
Mayor Sarno stated: “Our consultant, Attorney Julie Steiner, working with the Law Department, has drafted a revised invitation for applicants based on the latest draft of regulations, which will take into account the comprehensive amendments to the CCC regulations, including new licenses created for delivery, with a three-year exclusivity opening for social equity applicants. I have been informed that the regulations remain a moving target, but are expected to be finalized in a vote on November 30th by the CCC and we anticipate the RFP/Q will be issued within two weeks of that date.”
The Mayor was advised by his legal team and the City’s consultant advised against issuing a piecemeal process which divided the types of licenses to be considered due to the anticipated inefficiencies and confusion likely to occur.
“I want to assure that a fair and transparent evaluation is put in place to review any new applications or amended applications by past applicants, seeking to open up an Adult Use Marijuana business in Springfield,” said Mayor Sarno. “We can build on what we have learned to provide a positive economic impact for the City and new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.”
The Mayor issued four Host Community Agreements in July 2019 to applicants that included Holistic Industries, INSA, Inc., 6 Brick’s LLC, and 311 Page Blvd, LLC.
“I had hoped that we would have had some of these open by now so we could have more data on the impacts likely to occur as a result of this new industry in Springfield, before starting the second round,” the Mayor stated.
According to the update the Mayor received yesterday, Holistic is on the verge of opening their establishment on Boston Road, INSA is renovating the site of their planned facility on West Columbus Avenue and is expected to open in the next few months, which was delayed as a result of the City Council denial of a Special Permit, which was overturned as a result of litigation.
6 Bricks received provisional license approval from the CCC to operate at a site at 250 Albany Street, but has since requested an amendment to their HCA to locate a facility at 1860 Main Street. 6 Brick’s, LLC conducted a community outreach meeting on September 23, 2020 on the plans for the newly proposed location, and met with the New North Citizen’s Council on November 10, 2020.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Again, I want to make it clear that we are very sensitive to social justice issues surrounding this industry. Also, just as important and sensitive and as was done with our first round and out of respect to our neighborhood councils, is their input. I am currently awaiting the New North Citizens Council recommendations and then in turn with our internal committee will review and craft a Host Community agreement to be sent forward to the City Council for their consideration of a special permit.”
The Mayor asked Chief of Staff Tom Ashe to convene a meeting of the Internal Review Committee to consider 6 Brick’s, LLC application for a Host Community Agreement for the new location, and the Committee will meet next week for that purpose.
311 Page Blvd, LLC has not yet filed an application with the CCC, but has requested that the City issue a new Host Community Agreement with a new partner. Previously, the Host Agreement was issued based on an application by 311 Page Blvd, LLC to partner with TYCA Green, Inc. and the partnership promised to donate funds directly to non-profits and charities from sales at its store, as well as working with the East Springfield Neighborhood Council to provide a solar-powered speed sign in the area of East Springfield to promote public safety and safe driving, create a Workforce Development Center at Springfield Technical Community College, to fill employment needs across the cannabis industry by donated time of cultivation, product manufacturing, and retail experts. The City is in the process of requesting more information about the new request, and the Internal Review Committee will take up consideration of a new Host Community Agreement after receipt of the information.