Citizens Concerned About Cannabis Shop at Former Papa Gino’s On Route 9

FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Planning Board held a public hearing at the Memorial Building Thursday night on a proposed retail cannabis store on Route 9 at the former Papa Gino’s.

Blair Fish, CEO of BCWC, came before the Board, to discuss plans for the City’s sixth proposed recreational marijuana store at 1137 Worcester Road.

The store would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday and would have 6-7 cannabis kiosks, said Fish.

Fish explained the area would be kept “very secure,” as there would be cameras on site, as well as a parking lot attendant to watch for loitering or consumption at the property.

“I feel like the misconception is that people think that these are cafes,” said Fish. “This is a quick transaction.”

In terms of changes and renovations to the area, Fish and his team said they would keep the existing structure, but would make a few significant changes to it.

Changes would include better lighting and a replacement of the properties current fence.

The team also said they would like to have a satellite parking lot for employees at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center- a total of thirty spaces. From there, employees would be bused to and from work.

Several members of the public seemed to be very strongly opposed to the proposed marijuana retail shop, at the former pizzeria.

Holly Rejuee, a resident of nearby Tower Street, said she was concerned about flooding that would come from the activity of the store. She also expressed concern about how children would be affected by the presence of a cannabis store, as she runs a home daycare center nearby.

The Planning Board said it could not control whether the shop was established there, but that she could negotiate with Fish about some of her concerns, such as privacy.

The City of Framingham, under Mayor Yvonne Spicer, approved the marijuana retailer at that location.

Tower Street resident Malcom Harris said that he was not opposed to the store being opened, but asked the Planning Board to consider removing a pole on Route 9 that he considered to be a hazard.

Framingham resident Kathi McCarthy told the Framingham Board she was worried about how the store would impact neighborhood residents and children. She also claimed the residents of the neighborhood had not been very informed about this process. She said a member of the city’s marijuana task force allegedly said that there was “no residential” in the area and that it wouldn’t affect anyone.

No decision on the property was made by the Planning Board. The next meeting is scheduled for July 11.

Construction on the 3,279-square-foot building is scheduled for this year, with the operation to open in 2020.

The Mayor is negotiating a host agreement with the retailer to operate in the City of Framingham.

Photos and report by SOURCE intern Nich Barry.

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