WORCESTER- Westfield’s first prospective marijuana dispensary is set to have its application reviewed today by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) in a public hearing in Worcester’s UMass Medical School at 10 a.m.
Cannabis Connection, owned equally by Thomas Keenan, Curt Gezotis and Marc Lichwan will have its application reviewed after about a month’s delay by the CCC. It was originally expected that the application would be reviewed on Nov. 5, but the CCC informed Keenan shortly before that meeting that Cannabis Connection would not be on the agenda due to the background checks having not been completed in time.
Cannabis Connection does appear on the CCC’s agenda for the Dec. 19 hearing.
Keenan said that he would not comment until after the hearing.
Should his license be approved on Thursday, Keenan would be allowed to begin the hiring process for the dispensary. Cannabis Connection hosted a job fair shortly before the Nov. 5 meeting from which he hopes to hire between 40 and 50 employees. Approximately 200 people showed up to the fair by Keenan’s estimate.
The granting of a provisional license would also be followed by further inspections of the business by the CCC. They would also need to check with city officials to make sure that the local ordinances concerning marijuana related businesses are being followed.
Last month, after Keenan had learned they were not yet on the CCC agenda, Keenan said they would still be going through the applications from the job fair and, “weeding people out.”
The building for Cannabis Connection has been mostly complete for months now. The interior of the building looks like that of other local dispensaries, although the floor space appears to be larger than others.
When the CCC does its final round of inspections, should the provisional license be granted, they are likely to request smaller changes be made in the interior and exterior of the building.
Should everything go their way on Thursday, Keenan and the Cannabis Connection management can begin officially picking candidates from the pool of applicants. He noted during an interview last month that his background check process will be more lenient. For them, not all past crimes of applicants will be treated equally. Those with past drug offenses, or any non-violent past offense will not be disqualified from employment. Any past crimes involving violence, domestic violence, firearms, fraud, or other more serious crimes will likely keep an applicant from advancing in the hiring process.
If the company is granted the provisional license, the CCC will come for an initial inspection, then a final inspection. Should they pass the final inspection, they will be given the go-ahead to stock their shelves and open their doors to the public. They would be allowed to choose the date they actually open. Keenan said that he would expect a February grand opening should everything go smoothly from here.