SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Indian Orchard residents heard first hand tonight about a retail marijuana shop proposed for Boston Road.
Residents say these meetings are important to understand the potential impact these shops could have.
If given a license by the city, that shop would be located at 1755 Boston Road.
Some people had concerns about it being in the same building as a music shop, but company representatives addressed that and many other concerns.
Patricia Voisine was just one of about a dozen residents attending the presentation by American Leaf, one of the twenty-four companies looking to open recreational marijuana shops in the city.
Their shop would be in her neighborhood. She admits she doesn't approve of legalizing recreational marijuana.
"I don't think it's right, but," Voisine tells us. "It's a moneymaker right now. That's how I take it."
Never the less, she still wanted to give the company a chance to be heard.
"We've got to regulate this," Ellis Smith, co-founder of the American Cannabis Company tells us. "We've got to start paying taxes on this, [and] we got to get rid of the shady business being done in the black market. We've got to put safer product into the hands of the vendors and the people that are purchasing it."
American Leaf also operates a number Dunkin Sonuts and Seven Eleven franchises in the northeast.
They would partner with the American Cannabis Company to open their shop on Boston Road.
"It's a great location," stated Smith. "It's very large. It allows us to really create a flagship store to bring customers in. We've got a lot of parking to really be able to handle the overflow that we see from a lot of these other stores being opened right now, so we know we'd be able to maintain keeping that type of volume within our parking lots."
A company official told the residents how they would create up to twenty jobs.
They also shared their plans to contribute to the community through donations and consumer education.
At the end of the day, Voisine hopes it helps the community she's called home all of her life.
"Take a look at Indian Orchard," added Voisine. "We need a lot of revenue coming in here, because I think that Indian Orchard has really gone downhill."
Springfield is only going to issue fifteen recreational marijuana store licenses.
All proposals must be submitted to the city's office of procurement by May 20th.
They will then be ranked by the mayor's Internal Review Committee.