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City Council approves special permit for third marijuana retailer

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Establishment will be sited at 36 Charles St, on the edge of Malden Sq. 

  The Malden City Council approved a special permit for a third marijuana retailer in this community by a 10-1 vote after a lengthy public hearing Tuesday night.

   DMS Trinity, LLC was approved to establish a new marijuana retailer at 36 Charles St., on the edge of the downtown Malden Square area.

   In the past 18 months, the City Council has already granted two other special permits for marijuana retailers in the city of Malden, one which would be located just under a mile away, on Commercial Street and a second, on the eastern side of the city on Linehurst Road, off of Route 1.

     The licenses already approved are for Misty Mountain, which is renovating a building at 323 Commercial St., near the intersection with Medford Street for future operations and Standard Naturals, which is near completion of construction of a new building at 7 Linehurst Rd.

   The Linehurst Road building is located next to Kappy’s Liquors on Route 1. The owners of the new marijuana retailer are the owners of Kappy’s.

     The newly-approved special permit for DMS Trinity at 36 Charles St. would signal future plans for the transformation of an existing building at 36 Charles St. to a marijuana retail establishment. The building is now occupied by T&J Automotive, which operates an automotive repair and service business at the site.

    According to Attorney Roberto DiMarco, who is representing DMS Trinity, T&J Automotive, a longtime Malden business, would be relocating to another site in the city which has already been determined, contingent on the marijuana retail special permit being approved.

   Most of the discussion and the expressed sentiments, for or against the new establishment centered on traffic impact and, related, parking controls.

    Attorney DiMarco gave a detailed explanation of the parking plans which identified 8-11 parking spots on site at 36 Charles St. and provisions for as many as 25 in nearby, off-site locations. The offsite parking would be in close proximity, he explained.

    In the course of the discussion, at the request of Council President Craig Spadafora, included in the granting of the permit was a provision that a formal traffic study be undertaken six months after marijuana retailer opens.

     Another provision, suggested by Ward 6 Councillor Stephen Winslow, and agreed on by the entire Council, was if the offsite parking spaces were somehow no longer accessible by the establishment, they would have to be replaced by others.

    A third provision, offered by Ward 1 Councillor Peg Crowe, whose ward includes the new retailer, was that the hours of operation be held to 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for seven days a week maximum.

   City Planner Michelle Romero appeared at the request of the Council and related that the Malden Planning Board voted to deny the application, citing the parking numbers, but also informed the Council that the Planning Board suggested the provisions above, if indeed the Council approved the special permit, which it ultimately did.

    With a third marijuana retail shop, Malden would have more than any other in the region, though not as many as other communities such as some in the central and western parts of Massachusetts.  Holyoke has granted 19 provisional licenses and Worcester and Fitchburg, 14 licenses each.

   Voting in favor of the special permit to allow a third marijuana retailer to open in the city of Malden were Ward 1 Councillor Peg Crowe, who made the motion to grant it, and Councillors Amanda Linehan (Ward 3), Ryan O’Malley (Ward 4), Barbara Murphy (Ward 5), Stephen Winslow (Ward 6), Chris Simonelli (Ward 7), Jadeane Sica (Ward 8), Councillors at large Karen Colon Hayes and Carey McDonald and Council President Craig Spadafora.

   Voting against granting the special permit was Ward 2 Councillor Paul Condon.

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