Incoming Cleveland Circle marijuana dispensary causes community controversy – Daily Free Press (blog)

The ongoing reconstruction of the former Boston College dive bar, Mary Ann’s (pictured above), into a marijuana dispensary has met with resistance from locals. HALEY ABRAM/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

By Ayodele Abinusawa and Marla Hiller

Mary Ann’s Bar, a decades-old dive bar in the Cleveland Circle neighborhood of Brighton, is set to be replaced by a medical marijuana dispensary, which has sparked pushback from people in the area.

Happy Valley Ventures, the company planning to open the dispensary, has been approved for a purchase and sale agreement to purchase the space, the founder and CEO Michael Reardon said. However, they still have to obtain a non-opposition letter from the Boston City Council and approval from Massachusetts marijuana regulators and the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal.

Reardon said he thinks the dispensary will be a positive addition to the community.

“We’re fulfilling a desire as voted for [in] that area in Boston,” Reardon said, “We will renovate the building and make it more attractive. We have a very lengthy background of real estate development.”

Happy Valley Ventures has the goal of contributing to the communities where they set up shop, which, Reardon said, will be the case in Cleveland Circle.

“We like to give back,” he said. “It’s tough to get over all the stigmas. We like to spread goodwill if that means supporting causes and donating money.”

Unlike a bar, which would typically close around 2:00 a.m., Reardon said, the dispensary will close at 9:30 p.m. Reardon explained that this schedule will create less disturbance to the community than the previous establishment.

Local business owners in the Cleveland Circle area from Eagle’s Deli and Sunshine Cleaners declined to comment on the potential opening of the dispensary.

Jamie Bloom, 24, of Brighton, said he would understand why some people at Boston

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