Springfield officials discuss concerns over medical marijuana - WNEM TV 5

Springfield officials discuss concerns over medical marijuana dispensary

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Springfield is a step closer to getting a medical marijuana dispensary.

Now city officials want to make sure they work out any safety concerns that may come with one.

Officials say they need to find a balance between medical need and safety concerns of a potential marijuana dispensary in the city.

"In essence, with the transportation of the product, dispensing of the project, access to the product, at all levels you will see potential security problems," said City Solicitor Ed Pikula. 

The group Baystate Compassion Center is moving on to the second phase of the process.

But as the city tackles this new state law it has concerns.

"That may involve the potential for some robberies if someone's on the street with money to go and buy at a dispensary," Pikula said. 

Springfield police must also learn how to enforce the new law.

"When the law changes, the police department has to adapt to these changes," said Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney. 

In the coming weeks, the city will meet with owners of Baystate Compassion Center and the group must also meet with police.

Under law dispensaries would be limited to areas zoned for industrial use and would have to be built at least 500 feet from schools or residences.

Now police and city officials have to anticipate the type of crime that could come from such a business.

"We're planning for it, there's a lot of potential for illegalities to be going on in and around the areas where the dispensing is going on, and we hope for a smooth transition," Delaney said. 

The city expects the next phase to be complete by March.

They'll evaluate the group's proposal based on the site, local support as well as the company's ability to keep the public safe.

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