Proposed Agawam dispensary wants to add marijuana wholesale –

AGAWAM — The long-delayed medical dispensary next to the South End Bridge is asking to add a recreational marijuana manufacturing side business.

Stephen Buoniconti, Agawam’s town solicitor, told the Planning Board on Dec. 3 that Debilitating Medical Conditions Treatment Center Inc., which signed a host agreement with the town in 2017 but has not yet opened, does not think it can turn a profit on medical marijuana alone. It is proposing to expand its operations at the Herzenberg building at 1 South End Bridge Circle in Agawam to include the processing and wholesale of marijuana products.

“Essentially, it’s a distribution center, and there’s no retail side of this,” said Planning Board member Violet Baldwin.

Because of a ban on recreational marijuana businesses in town, the wholesale business would require a change in Agawam’s zoning ordinances. The Planning Board held its public hearing last week, and gave the amendment a 4-0 positive recommendation. The City Council may debate the amendment as early as this month.

“The principal owner (of DMCTC)] informed the City Council that he thinks it could generate up to $500,000 in tax revenue each year for the town. They believe there is a niche industry they could grow,” Buoniconti said at the hearing. Recreational marijuana retailers “are having a very difficult time keeping up with inventory on their products,” he added.

No representatives from DMCTC spoke at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Under the terms of DMCTC’s current host agreement, the dispensary would pay the town $125,000 per year, or 3 percent of gross proceeds, whichever is higher, in addition to the usual property taxes. If DMCTC is allowed to open a manufacturing business, the host agreement would be renegotiated with a higher floor, Buoniconti said.

An ordinance passed by the City Council last December prohibits marijuana businesses, other

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