New Leaf Marijuana Firm Appeals Pawtucket Dispensary Denial –

PAWTUCKET, RI — Providence attorney Thomas Mirza, the CEO and chief compliance officer of New Leaf Compassion Center, is still pushing his plan to build a medical marijuana dispensary at 30 India Street.

The Pawtucket Planning Commission on March 16 voted 3-0 to deny Mirza’s application to build a 2,700 square-foot compassion center branded as “Fine Fettle Dispensary.” Mirza filed an appeal, and that challenge will be heard tonight by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Mirza is joined in his effort by 30 India Street, LLC, owner of the industrial-zoned property.

The area is zoned as “Industrial Open.” However, the proposed dispensary is within 200 feet of a residential zoning district and within 1,000 feet of a public recreation field. Members of the Planning Board in March discussed neighborhood impacts, including the potential volume of customer visits. They stated that the proposal was not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance, minutes from that meeting state.

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In addition to local approval, Mirza will need a compassion center license from the Office of Cannabis Regulation within the state’s Department of Business Regulation. The DBR plans a lottery to award six new compassion center licenses in six geographical zones across the state. That lottery won’t be held until at least August. Three compassion centers are already licensed in Rhode Island in Providence, Portsmouth, and Warwick.

New Leaf has secured lease options within four of the six zones, with options on properties at 24 Stafford Court in Cranston; 4115 Mendon Road in Cumberland; and 16-24 Central Street in Central Falls, according to application records filed with the state.

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