Did anything get accomplished at the meeting last night? The community session is required by the Cannabis Control Commission, offering the most detailed look to date at plans by JMJ Holdings to shift to a new use of the former retail destination.

A community outreach meeting went on last night about the use of the Berkshire Mall and there were a lot of questions residents wanted to know about water usage and smell and also the condition of the deteriorating building.

30 or so community members were in attendance.

Several of these questions asked were about the proposed cannabis facility at the Berkshire Mall. Residents expressed concerns about water use at the facility and potential issues with wastewater.

Mensing did not know exactly how much water the facility could use once operational but said he would follow any rules or restrictions put in place by the water district.

Iberkshires reports that,

The plan, according to Mensing, is to utilize the former J.C. Penney retail space of about 51,000 square feet for their licenses, which he said would create about 35 new jobs.

Mensing's group is applying for a marijuana product manufacturing license, a marijuana cultivation license, and an existing licensee transporter license.

For the rest of the mall, their plans are to either rent or sell to other folks who are looking to do various components of the cannabis supply chain.

As far as water concerns are the group says that they will comply with what the water district requires to get rights and purchase that water, whatever the rate is.

The majority of the facility's water comes to the town via Pittsfield.

Regarding the condition of the building, which several residents also mentioned, Mensing said his group intends to do any work they need to do to get the facility up and going for operations. He said there are also plans for minor improvements to the outside of the building.

GoofyGumpy Mall 9-22/YouTube
GoofyGumpy Mall 9-22/YouTube

Smells coming from the facility was another topic brought up by residents. Mensing said the growing rooms are planned to be enclosed, along with a carbon filtration system to ensure no odors escape.

Mensing said the group has plans in the works to couple with a nonprofit called the Big Hope Project, which gives aid to areas that are impacted by the war on drugs. He said they are also willing to work with any other local organizations that are interested.

If everything falls into place, Mensing noted the facility could, in theory, be open within about a year to 18 months.

Some folks were not happy with the answers and left near the end of the meeting, and a few people left in protest of the proceeding.  They felt that he, Mensing, did not answer any questions, one person was heard saying that he did not answer 80% of the questions.

A couple of times during the meeting Mensing said he could not answer those questions.

So what is the next step? I am sure we will hear more about this as the year goes on.

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