SPRINGFIELD — Residents in the South End told owners of a marijuana company they got it all wrong when they organized a community meeting to explain their business proposal.
They failed to reach out to the well-known neighborhood council and long-established business owners when sending out invitations; the Sunday noon meeting interfered with church and family time and owners came unable to answer many questions.
Mint Dispensary Facilities LLC., which has two retail stores in Arizona, is proposing to open a shop at 928 Main St., the current location of City Pizza and Fried Chicken. The owners met with residents for the first time Sunday at Red Rose Pizzeria.
The company is one of 47 which is considering applying to Springfield for a marijuana license under a Request for Proposals system. Completed applications must be submitted by May 20 for consideration and the city will select up to four companies in June that can go forward in its first phase.
Part of the process calls for companies to hold community meetings and the first held by Mint Dispensary Facilities was not greeted with enthusiasm by residents.
For 20 years residents and owners of well-established businesses have been trying to turn around the South End. Now that they have had some success, especially with the opening of the MGM casino, no fewer than seven marijuana companies have proposed moving in nearby, said Leo Florian, president of the South End Citizens Council.
“I don’t think this brings any benefit to the community,” he said. “Trying to put it in