Grow, Gift, Repair

Cultivation applicant in Pittsfield

“QIC Cannabis. We are a small cannabis start-up. I can tell you what QIC stands for — quality, integrity, and culture,” said Steven Goldman, QIC’s spokesman. “The number of people we would employ, revenue we would generate, would depend on what facility we are able to obtain in Massachusetts.”

The company was eyeing the Notre Dame Church owned by the Swindlehursts in downtown Pittsfield to house its cultivation facility. The church currently operates as a makerspace called Shire City Sanctuary for small businesses, but its owners have it on the market. It’s less than 200 feet away from the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires.

Joe McGovern is the CEO of the youth organization.

“We believe that putting any type of facility right there where Melville Street has been the hub for years with the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, the former CYC, and other activities, it’s been the hub for the youth of our community, and we would be sending an awful message to those kids if we allowed this to happen,” said McGovern at the meeting.

Goldman points out that the laws around cultivation facilities are very different from those pertaining to retail stores.

“Essentially, a cultivation facility could be a practically unmarked, secure building, and had you not done your research, you might drive by not even knowing what happens in that building. We’d be able to create our product, generate income for our community, have a positive impact on the community, without really being conspicuous or being noticed,” said Goldman.

“There was clearly a recognition and understanding that cultivation and the way that it’s set up and that operation is far different than the retail side of things,” said Councilor John Krol. “I think there were some councilors who recognized that difference, but as the dialogue continued last night, the votes weren’t there. So the 500-foot setback did remain.”