Is Fitchburg Ready for Marijuana Dispensaries?

By Nick Trotto

Recreational marijuana dispensaries around Massachusetts are currently seeking approval to open their doors and Fitchburg wants in.

In February 2018 the Fitchburg Planning Board unanimously approved a special permit to begin operations on a dispensary to be located on 20 Authority Drive.

This is the fourth recreational marijuana growing facility to be approved. Along with new dispensaries it seems new jobs and opportunities are coming to the city.

However, new opportunities are currently on hold because to the laws around selling marijuana legally are up in smoke.  

According to mass.gov “The regulation and taxation of marijuana act effective December 15, 2016, adults may possess and use marijuana. After required licensing procedures, retail marijuana stores will be permitted to open beginning in July 2018.”  

With the  new dispensaries aimed to open in just four months, some residents and politicians do not believe Massachusetts is ready.    

“I just don't understand how the city can give approval on building marijuana faculties when the laws are not one-hundred percent clear yet.” said Miguel Rodríguez, who lives five miles away from the new potential complex.

Steven Hoffman, head of the state commission and a representative overseeing the new law says the process complications around security could push opening day for pot shops past the July start date.

“If we’re not ready it will slide,” he says. “It’s more important to do this right than to do it on time.”

Kroll, an international company, will provide security for the facility located on 20 Authority Drive. The facility will have 24-hour security as well as a camera system that the Fitchburg Police Department will be able to access at any time. The company has secured a bank and will not have cash on site.

Each facility is predicted to serve around 330 people a day, 7 days a week.

Combing this predicted number with four operations totals 9240 people theoretically making the trip into the Fitchburg dispensaries everyday.

The laws around recreational marijuana dispensaries are hazy. And with such a staggering number becoming a reality in a matter of months, do you think the town of Fitchburg will get the green light?