Proposed medical marijuana facility a concern to some in Randolph

JOHNSTOWN, NY - AUGUST 19: Cannabis plants grow in the greenhouse at Vireo Health's medical marijuana cultivation facility, August 19, 2016 in Johnstown, New York. New York state lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana for medical use in 2014 and the law took effect in January 2016. Currently, five organizations are allowed to grow and sell the drug for medical use in the state. New York's new law only allows people with 'severe debilitating or life threatening conditions' to obtain marijuana for medical use. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Marijuana plants growing in a greenhouse.

About 20 Randolph residents turned out to voice their concerns about a medical marijuana grow facility and dispensary that Verdant Medical Inc. wants to open on Pacella Park Drive as its application came before the Town Council for a special permit Monday.

Several residents said they had concerns about increased traffic from the proposed dispensary and about putting the facility next to a residential area. Neighbors said the town has allowed the Pacella Park area, once set aside for industrial development, to become a “hodge-podge” where about 250 units of housing are under construction.

Neighbor Trung Khuu argued that the facility would be within the 1,000-foot required buffer of the May Institute, a school for children with disabilities. Randolph Town Manager David C. Murphy said a thorough review showed it fulfills the distance requirement.


Murphy said a majority of the town’s voters favored legalization of medical marijuana in the 2012 election. The town also has a local host agreement with Boston-based Verdant Medical Inc. that will provide 4.25 percent of its revenues to the town for a variety of purposes including youth programming, public safety, and substance-abuse awareness, he said.

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Resident Jeffrey Warner said it would be good to put to use the building at 78 Pacella Park Drive that once housed a pharmaceutical firm and has been vacant for several years. But Verdant should “go to another town” if it wants to sell recreational marijuana in the future, he said.

Verdant representatives said the site will be well-regulated with high security and odor and waste control. It would operate from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The Town Council could vote on the application as soon as March 27.

Elaine Cushman Carroll can be reached at