Second Lanesborough Pottery Store Developer Tells Town of Revised Plans | Central Berkshires

LANESBOROUGH – Developers at Lanesborough’s second approved recreational marijuana store have gone from planning a renovation to planning a new build.

Lev and Lori Kelman are proposing to demolish the old Arizona Pizza building on Route 8 and construct a 3,600 square foot site to manufacture and sell cannabis products.

If built – the Kelmans still need approval from the state Cannabis Control Commission to operate – they would join Liberty Market, which opened in late July on Route 7, as the only two authorized pot shops in town.

The Kelmans had initially offered to renovate the vacant 3,135-square-foot restaurant, but the cost soared to $ 1.4 million, according to Lev Kelman. For about $ 1 million to almost $ 1.2 million, he says, he can have a building erected.

On Monday evening, the Lanesborough Planning Board approved the site plans, which did not include cultivation, which the Kelmans are hoping to eventually gain approval for – using refitted shipping containers to grow marijuana.

In its decision, the council reserved the right to approve the aesthetics of the new building.

“When growing in shipping containers, there is no odor. The smell does not penetrate the metal, ”Lev Kelman said by phone Wednesday.

Lori and Lev Kelman, developers of the proposed second marijuana store in Lanesborough (copy)

In August, Lori and Lev Kelman, via Zoom, chat with the Lanesborough Select Board about their delay in opening a recreational marijuana manufacturing / retail store in town. The Kelmans received Planning Council approval on Monday to demolish the old Arizona Pizza restaurant and build a 3,600 square foot facility.

Under the name Royal Hemp LLC, the Kelmans want to make and sell cannabis chocolate and sell cannabis with medicinal properties, although they are not applying for a medical license.

“I’m going to start by making edibles and drinks. Our product will be much better than what’s on the market – the cleanest, healthiest, tastiest foods, ”said Lev Kelman.

Kelman is no stranger to pot-related products. He told the Select Board in March that he used medicinal marijuana and four years ago he started selling hemp chocolate bars at his store, Brooklyn Dark in New York City, which he opened in 2011.

Its website notes that hemp seeds do not contain THC, the active chemical in marijuana that provides the high for users.

The chocolate produced here is said to contain THC and is sold at the Lanesborough store and the Massachusetts wholesale market.

Since the location of the cannabis store on Route 8 is zoned for the production and retail of recreational marijuana, the project does not require a special permit.

As for parking and traffic flow, Royal Hemp would have 33 parking spaces. Entry / exit would be on Route 8, and a police detachment would take care of traffic control for the first few weeks of operation, according to the developers’ written plans.

The developers claim the building would be far enough from the road to prevent long lines of people waiting to enter the store being pushed back to the national road.

The Kelmans’ advance was good news for the Select Board, which had threatened to dissolve the binding foster community agreement it had with the couple.

In August, the three-member panel was upset that the Kelmans had made no progress, with the board and planners approving the initial project in the summer of 2019. Elected officials were also unhappy with the move. appearance of the property – with overgrown vegetation. and garbage. The site has since been cleaned up and there is a chain link fence around the building to keep humans and creatures out.

Kelman said he was doing his best to accommodate the town’s demands, but was frustrated with what he called “Lanesborough’s red tape”.

“I would like more support from the community, but I have to fight tooth and nail to get approvals,” he said.

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