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Four More Recreational Pot Shops Get Fitchburg OK

January 10, 2019

FITCHBURG -- Four more recreational marijuana establishments got the green light from the Planning Board Tuesday, bringing the number of approved retail shops to five and cultivators to seven.

“We’re riding this wave while we can,” said Principal Planner Mike O’Hara.

Atlantic Medicinal Partners, which received a provisional license from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, had its site plans approved to expand to cultivation and retail at 774 Crawford St., on the Leominster border.

The building is in the process of being outfitted and will be completed it in two phases, he said.

O’Hara said it will be at least six months before Atlantic Medicinal Partners can start growing marijuana. It would also take time for there to be enough product to sell in its shop, he said.

Stalk & Beans, a third-party transporter, received a special permit and site plan approval for office space and delivery van loading area at the former mill building at 431 Westminster St.

The transporter only needs about 520 square feet of space, O’Hara said, because it will focus on delivering medical and recreational marijuana from grow facilities to retail shops.

After several public hearings to sort out parking issues, the Planning Board approved a special permit and site plan review for The Caregiver-Patient Connection. The business wants to open a retail operation at 371-373 Lunenburg St., which is on the town border on Route 2A.

Initially, the business proposed having retail at 371 Lunenburg St. and parking at the pizza restaurant next door. It also considered having valet parking.

“It was really tight for space before,” O’Hara said.

The Caregiver-Patient Connection decided to buy the pizza restaurant and tear down 371 Lunenburg St. to create up to 35 parking spots on the lot, he said.

The last establishment to gain Planning Board approval was Green Era, which is working to open a retail shop at 371 John Fitch Highway.

Fitchburg has a cap of seven recreational marijuana retailers allowed.

There is no limit for how many cultivators can operate in the city. Of the seven approved so far, three of them previously grew medical marijuana, O’Hara said.

Although the Planning Board has approved businesses, it’s possible that not all of them will open, he said, adding that financing is one challenge that they will face.

Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz.

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