Cannabis impact panel awards $ 350,000 in pot revenue to eight local agencies

GREATER BARRINGTON – The Town of Great Barrington has awarded $ 350,000 in Cannabis Community Impact Fund to eight city government and non-profit entities. The prizes were awarded on the recommendation of the city council Community Impact Funding Committee (CIF), the city said in a written statement.

The funds were allocated as follows:

“We were delighted to receive so many strong proposals and have done our best to distribute these funds in the most efficient way possible and with the broadest reach,” said Rebecca Gold, resident of the city, who heads the committee. CIF, which received 25 funding requests.

The city says the committee has focused its funding on programs that support community health, mental health, public safety and addiction risk. CIF added that its Clinton Church Restoration Award is intended to support the city’s reputation and commitment to local African American history, and to “offset our city’s reputation for cannabis.” .

These funds are distributed under the state’s Community Impact Fund, which allows towns and villages to take a portion of the annual revenues from cannabis sales for distribution to help mitigate the impacts of cannabis. cannabis industry. The percentage of revenue is usually negotiated as part of a agreement of the host community between cannabis retailers and host cities.

In 2020, Great Barrington awarded $ 185,000 in CIF funds to local nonprofits. The 2020 price reflected revenue primarily from one cannabis store, Theory Wellness, but four are now operating in town.

Since opening its first recreational marijuana stores in January 2019, the City of Great Barrington has garnered a total of over $ 6.7 million in cannabis-related revenue.

There are two separate taxes that provide a source of cannabis revenue for municipalities that host adult cannabis stores: a 3% local sales tax plus state excise and sales taxes; and the aforementioned community impact fees which typically represent 3% of a store’s gross sales. About half of Great Barrington’s cannabis revenue was generated through community impact fees, city finance director Susan Carmel said.

In an email, Berkshire Hills Superintendent Peter Dillon told The Edge that the district’s $ 150,000 share of impact funding will go towards the salary and benefits of the new Welfare Coordinator of the District. district, Iona Smith, materials for school and family wellness events, stipends for the 15-member task force. on curriculum development and staff professional development.

“We are very excited to continue our efforts to support health and wellness and truly appreciate the support from Great Barrington,” said Dillon.

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