After strong pushback from neighbors, a team that hoped to site a 3,000-square-foot retail cannabis store in a key commercial building in Adams Corner is now eyeing a location closer to Neponset Circle. CNA Stores, Inc., a company based in Amesbury, MA, originally pitched a retail location in a commercial space inside 540 Gallivan Blvd., which currently houses Supreme Liquors, Boston Sports Club, a dental office, and the specialty clothing retailer College Hype.
The plan was met with fierce opposition at an October meeting of the Ashmont-Adams Neighborhood Association and again this month during an online forum organized by the proponents. The team also met with the Cedar Grove Civic Association, whose members voted 169-11 against the proposal after a meeting held virtually last week.
“There was a very similar response to the Ashmont-Adams meeting. We heard a lot of the same issues that the location wasn’t right for the neighborhood,” said Rob DiFazio, the owner and CEO of CNA Stores Inc.
“After the Ashmont-Adams meeting, we started actively looking for other locations, DiFazio said, noting that they talked to “probably seven, maybe eight landlords” and took a look at locations that people had suggested to us at that meeting.” He said the company is now considering shifting the proposal to 770 Gallivan Blvd., formerly the site of a Verizon store.
“We’re currently talking with that landlord about getting a lease and potentially switching the location,” said DiFazio. “A lot of the other options got shot down because they were either near a school, or they have a mortgage on the building and the bank won’t let them lease to our business because it’s not legal federally.”
He added that community feedback is important to him, and said it has changed the trajectory of the team’s proposal. “We’re here to get their feedback and input and the big thing for us is to listen to the community and the neighborhood. I know that if people are against marijuana, they’re going to be against marijuana no matter what we do, but when it comes down to it, it’s a legal business,” he said.
“That said, I do want to get their feedback and we have heard it.”