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Tips For Opening A Dispensary Where Nobody Wants You

Neighborhood opposition has killed many a plan for opening a dispensary. How do you deal?

This story appears in the October 2019 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

On October 25, 2018, some 120 concerned citizens in Brookline, Mass., took to the streets, waving placards and chanting slogans, to protest a development they believed would imperil the local children and businesses: a retail cannabis shop.  

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The protesters soon organized themselves into Save St. Mary’s Neighborhood, a powerful coalition that collected more than 1,200 letters opposing the proposed store. They argued that the dispensary would bring in too much traffic, clogging streets and changing the character of the neighborhood. They argued that it would be a bad influence in a family-minded area, with at least 13 nearby youth-oriented institutions. They argued that the store would be, by their analyses, in slight violation of several zoning ordinances. They even argued that retail cannabis is so new, opening up a shop would be akin to subjecting locals to “a big experiment.”  

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