ADAMS, Mass. — The Planning Board decided on Monday to work on crafting a bylaw aimed at allowing outdoor marijuana cultivation.
David Rosenthal and Carol Shumans are looking to grow 25 plants on their property at 127 Walling Road. They currently grow 12 plants under the recreational category.
“What we’d like to do is market it as a family owned local business,” said Rosenthal. “Sun grown, mountain grown, organic product, which we think can be marketed to dispensaries in Adams or throughout the state. The key is trying to make this a specialty product, like a craft beer so people would be attracted to its uniqueness … where it’s grown.”
The idea was originally brought up by their two grown children and couple believe that will be part of the draw.
“Locally grown. Family farm. We are all on board with it,” Shumans said. “We’re only looking to double our growing. We’ve had twelve plants for a couple years and we’re just looking to go to 25.”
The couple own slightly over 2.5 acres and the operation would take up less than 5,000 square feet. This would put it in the Tier 1 outdoor marijuana cultivator category.
Town Planner Kevin Towle told the board that the operation would not be permitted under the current zoning bylaws and that one would have to be drafted and approved before any decisions on specific cases were made.
“The board has historically indicated that they want to put a bylaw into place and re-evaluate over time,” he said. “We thought that there was quite a bit of planning in Mr. Rosenthal’s proposal so we brought it before you to see whether or not the board would be supportive of re-evaluating the sustained marijuana bylaw and perhaps making it more permissive in instances like this. Any marijuana facility would still have to come to [the Planning Board] the way the bylaw would exist.”
Chairman David Rhinemiller brought up a broad concern of legality to Towle: “It is still federally illegal. What are the complications with us adjusting [the bylaws] further if the federal government gets involved?”
Towle responded by citing the industry’s rapid growth while still exhibiting a bit of caution.
“I can’t speak for the federal government but I think there’s some risk inherent in the industry as it exists now but that certainly hasn’t…