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Oasis Campus to respect caution of New Marlborough residents

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By Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 Letters 12

To the editor:

In favoring a moratorium on marijuana-related businesses in New Marlborough, town voters made their wishes clear: they wish to take a closer look at the town’s zoning and decide how to best incorporate and regulate this new industry within the town. I hope that the town will move quickly to begin this work and will consider how other communities have successfully and responsibly incorporated this kind of business into their zoning.

I do not necessarily view my own project and the town’s moratorium vote to be mutually exclusive. Although the moratorium vote does not impact my own pending application for a marijuana cultivation facility in town, it certainly expresses a widespread cautionary position among town residents. I will be proceeding with the Oasis Campus project with this sentiment in mind. I am hopeful that town residents who are interested in contributing to the Oasis Campus discussion will participate productively as public hearings proceed.

After recent hearings on the Oasis Campus project, town planners, residents and others had many questions about my project. I plan to answer these questions more fully as our hearings proceed.

The next hearing on the Oasis project is April 25 at New Marlborough Town Hall. A meeting of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission takes place April 24 at 6 p.m. at the Lenox Town Hall, and I hope New Marlborough residents will attend to learn more about this new and expanding industry.

It’s my plan to develop a safe, secure and well-managed growing facility for cultivators who are thoroughly vetted and licensed for this work. I believe that New Marlborough can indeed become a model community for responsible cultivation practices that provide full-time jobs and much needed local revenue.

I look forward to moving ahead, in parallel with the town’s bylaw review process.

Thank you.

Joshua Seitz
Oasis Campus LLC

The writer is CEO of Oasis Campus LLC

12 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Lucinda Shmulsky says:

    One of the consequences of the clash between state and federal law is that legal cannabis businesses are largely locked out of the banking system. Because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, an overwhelming majority of financial institutions do not serve the cannabis industry. As a result, cannabis businesses are generally unable to write checks, make and receive electronic payments, or accept credit and debit cards.

    The cannabis industry operates chiefly in cash, just as it did when it was in the illegal market. The lack of access to banking services is a major concern in each of the states that have broadly legalized medical use, or both medical and adult recreational use, of cannabis. The cannabis industry’s inability to get basic banking services is an urgent public policy issue requiring concerted action by state and local governments, the cannabis industry, and financial institutions.

    You may wish to explain how you intend to handle your banking services, due to the fact that Massachusetts is ill prepared to offer financial services to this industry.

    1. Ellen says:

      This is a good question and I do believe the rules around this are shifting.

  2. James says:

    There are private banks currently in Massachusetts doing business with licensed cannabis establishments.

  3. Marc says:

    So the facilities can’t use any banking services. So it’s a cash business. And towns are worried it will attract a criminal element. LOL

  4. Lucinda Shmulsky says:

    Well, well, well: could it be two public officials in the Town of New Marlborough have gone rogue?
    No, no, that couldn’t be; that might be interpreted as “conduct unbecoming of a civil servant,” my mistake.

    Anyway, my question was addressed to the applicant. So thank you folks for your comments but, I guess I’ll just have to wait until April 25th and see if the Board of Selectmen take an interest in the banking services to be used.

    1. MK says:

      Cautioning you to watch your tone, Lucinda. Your persistent and nagging micro-aggression’s towards the planning board members you disagree with on a public platform are teetering on harassment. Easy does it.

  5. Stephen L. Cohen says:

    My law firm has been involved in the last few years in the acquisition of three marijuana corporations in Colorado and Colorado. Perhaps most relevant to the discussions in New Marlborough are my observations about the proposed business plan of renting the facility piecemeal to a number of growers. Our experience is that the qualification procedure in Colorado for investors and business owners is hugely time-consuming and very lengthy. We know eminently qualified investors who are still not approved a year and a half after the submission of their application. The vetting process in Massachusetts will be equally detailed and precise because of the nature of the business. It seems highly unlikely that the developers alleged business plan can be successful. This leads to the question of why a competent developer would even propose such a course of action, and if the plan is just a ploy to obtain approval and then utilize the facility in another fashion. Again, the impression that someone could quickly go in and rent space to grow is not close to our clients’ experience in Colorado and Canada. I think it is a good idea for the town to hire an expert, or use the expertise of its residents, to carefully analyze a very flawed proposal.

    1. Stephen L. Cohen says:

      Sorry, our clients’ companies are in Colorado and Canada

  6. Stephen L. Cohen says:

    I wish to contact Mr. Seitz and talk to him about his proposed plan. I have been unsuccessful in trying to find a telephone at Oasis or any phone at his address at 2 Chestnut Hill Road in Sandisfield. ( His address is in the public notice he filed in the Berkshire Record). If Mr. Seitz is reading this I would request he contact me through the Edge or at my phone in Egremont. It is a listed number. Thanks, Steve Cohen

    1. Ellen says:

      I left you a voice mail, Stephen.

  7. Lois Brown says:

    This “gentleman,” who thinks to grow a popular get-a-snooze-on piece of “grass,” wants to make profit by SPOILING what we long time owners do NOT WANT. We, who own property at Lake Buel, love this part of the country. We look with suspicion at interlockers who come on to the Lake and throw their lit cigarettes in our pure water to get rid of them. Some saggy remainders have washed up on our property. PLEASE, leave us along. We each LOVE Lake Buel, and would go to length to protect it. I say, find ANOTHER piece of property who owners and appreciaters are not downwind from your fields. I mean this: We LOVE Lake Buel, and we mean to keep it clean.

  8. Mackenzie M says:

    Thank you for your openness, articulation and patience for the obtuse Metathesiophobes , Josh. You have supporters! Hopefully they stop feeling bullied into silence soon, so that this can be an informative and interactive collaboration.

    Keep going !By hook or by crook NM will evolve and catch up with the rest of the liberal world.

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