Cannabis dispensaries
The City Council will continue its fact-finding about the impact of cannabis dispensaries in the community when the Finance Committee, of which I am a member, holds a virtual discussion at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, about the financial impact of capping retail marijuana stores and legal questions related to cannabis legislation.

Here is a link to the meeting agenda:

The committee expects to have a discussion about the financial impact with city Finance Director Charlene Nardi and Downtown Northampton Association Executive Director Amy Cahillane; and about the legal questions with City Solicitor Alan Seewald

There are currently 12 adult-use dispensaries operating in Northampton (including two that also offer medical marijuana treatment). Two other host community agreements have been signed, including one for two separate sites.

Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra announced last week that she will not sign a host community agreement with Euphorium LLC for a marijuana dispensary at 143 Main St. in Florence because “a cannabis business on the corner of the main intersection in the heart of Florence Center” is not an appropriate location. The mayor also announced her opposition to a potential cap, saying that “Northampton has been and should continue to be a city supportive of a well-regulated and equitable cannabis industry that expands our tax base.”

Although the City Council does not have jurisdiction over host community agreements for specific marijuana establishments, it could place a cap on the number of dispensaries allowed in Northampton. In 2018, the City Council rejected a proposed cap of 10. City councilors are responding to some residents who are now calling for renewed consideration of a cap on cannabis dispensaries,

Northampton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center redevelopment
The Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the City Council chambers at 212 Main St., on the zoning permit application filed by Valley Community Development Corp. to renovate the former nursing home at 737 Bridge Road into 60 units of affordable housing,

Here is a link to the meeting agenda:

This is an in-person meeting and public comment will be heard only from people present in the City Council chambers. Written comments may be emailed to Carolyn Misch, director of Planning & Sustainability, at

The agenda includes information for people who want to connect remotely to view or listen to the meeting.

The former nursing home property has been vacant since 2011.