Company Says Plan For Medical Cannabis Dispensary Leaves Patients Woefully Undeserved


Springfield – With plans for a medical marijuana dispensary in East Springfield on indefinite hold, a second company is urging city officials to allow for more than one facility to meet patient demand.

Peter Kadens, CEO of GTI-Massachusetts NP Corp. of Boston, and the company’s local lawyer, Dan Morrissey, spoke before the City Council on Monday to make a pitch for Springfield to have more than one marijuana dispensary.

Kadens said that one facility in Springfield will not be enough to serve the large number of patients that will seek medical marijuana for serious medical conditions. Within a few years, there could be 3,500 patients from the Springfield area seeking service, he said.

“The way it stands now, they are going to be woefully underserved,” Kadens said.

On Aug. 15, the council rejected a proposed host community agreement negotiated between city officials and the top-ranked company, Hampden Care Facility Inc., which was planning a dispensary at 506 Cottage St.

The initial agreement called for a 10-year period during which Hampden Care Facility would be the exclusive dispensary in the city. After hearing council concerns, the company agreed to accept a five-year period of exclusivity with reduced annual payments to the city. The council ultimately rejected the pact.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who proposed the agreement with Hampden Care Facility, said this week that discussions continue with that company.

Hampden Care Facility was chosen from among nine initial applicants, while GTI was ranked second, officials said. The city chose the best one “from the standpoint of public health, safety and economic development,” Sarno said.

“My goal continues to be getting those who are suffering the medical relief they need ASAP,” Sarno said. “I remain hopeful that the City Council renders a decision to help those individuals and families in need ASAP. Also, if another dispensary is proven to be needed, we have the proper mechanisms in the agreement to address those concerns.”

On Monday, the council heard from Kadens during the public speak-out section of the council meeting, and Vice President Orlando Ramos said it might be a matter for further discussion in subcommittee.

Kadens said Monday the company is focused on “public health and the patient need in Springfield and the surrounding area.”

“Our goal is to open the dialogue to explore what is beneficial for the citizens of Springfield in order to ensure that patients of Springfield are served with adequate resources that meet the current and future demand,” Kadens said.

GTI has not selected a site, but has “several viable options should the city recognize the need for additional dispensaries,” Kadens said.

As a national operation, GTI has 10 licenses across Illinois, Nevada and Massachusetts, Kaden said. GTI-Massachusetts has a state provisional license for a dispensary in Amherst and special permit approval, Kaden said. In addition, it is pursuing medical marijuana facilities in Holyoke and Palmer, with a letter of endorsement from Holyoke’s mayor and a letter of non-opposition from the Palmer Town Council, he said.

GTI had sent a letter to Sarno in February asking for reconsideration “on the basis of significant patient demand,” Kadens said.

“At this point, the mayor has not acknowledged our requests to reconsider or to meet with him to discuss,” Kadens said.

Sarno said the city’s next step is “continue to work with the chosen developer to satisfy the conditions of their special permit with relation to the host community agreement.”

The council did approve a special permit for Hampden Care Facility that would take effect pending approval of a host community agreement. Under city guidelines, host community agreements must be proposed by the mayor and approved by the council.

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Full Article: Company Says Plan For Medical Cannabis Dispensary Leaves Patients Woefully Undeserved
Author: Peter Goonan
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