MA: City Councilor Likes Proposed Marijuana Dispensary In Allston – But Not This One

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City Councilor Mark Ciommo today tore into a medical-marijuana dispensary proposed for 144 Harvard Ave., stopping just short of accusing its proponents of being liars who would let kids down pot-laced gummy bears and lollipops.

Compassionate Organics needs a statement of “non-opposition” from the City Council to gain state approval for its proposed dispensary. Ciommo had previously voiced support for a competing proposal at 230 Harvard Ave.

Compassionate Organics says its proposed dispensary, halfway between Glenville and Brighton Avenue, would provide a much needed service for sick people who need the marijuana. “We get Boston because we’re from Boston,” CEO Geoffrey Reilinger said at a council hearing today. “We love Boston because it’s our home.”

But under grilling from Ciommo, Reilinger acknowledged that he had inaccurately stated in earlier applications that he had obtained verbal approval from several Boston Police officials and Sheriff “Elliott” Thompkins.

Ciommo produced a letter from Sheriff Thompkins, whose first name is Steven, saying he had never even met with Reilinger, let along spoken with him about medical marijuana.

Two BPD officials – former Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey and former District D-14 Sgt. Michael O’Hara – e-mailed Ciommo to say they had never given their OK to Reilinger.

Reilinger also acknowledged erring in stating there were no organized children’s activities within 500 feet of the proposed site – when, in fact, a karate studio across the street offers children’s classes.

Allston Civic Association President Paul Berkeley, however, said both residential and business groups were comfortable with the idea of the dispensary on Harvard Avenue. One business owner testified the proposed dispensary could actually help the Harvard Avenue business district, because it would bring people into the area during the daytime, when business has been decline.

Another store owner testified the other proposed dispensary wouldn’t do that because of its location on the other side of Commonwealth Avenue, on the Brookline line. And she asked councilors to forgive Compassionate Organics’ errors in its earlier submissions, saying starting a new small business is hard and she doesn’t know anybody who’s tried who hasn’t made mistakes.

Ciommo, joined by at-large Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, also objected to Compassionate Organics’ proposed sale of marijuana-infused candies, saying they would prove too attractive to children.

Reilinger said customers who request marijuana in that form would get lockboxes, essentially small safes, in which to store the infused candy. He said some patients don’t want to smoke their marijuana – and that some can’t, because of throat or lung problems.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: City Councilor Likes Proposed Marijuana Dispensary In Allston – But Not This One
Author: Staff
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