EGREMONT — Neighbor opposition has forced a company to abandon its plans for an indoor cannabis-growing facility off Sky Farm Road in this South County community.
Sparkboro Corp./Prestige Worldwide LLC has pulled out of a purchase-and-sale agreement with Benjamin Barrett, who owns Berkshire Veneer Co. His property is part of a homeowners association.
Barrett said he will put his building back on the market. It is unclear whether Sparkboro will search for a new location in the Berkshires. The company’s attorney, James Valeriani, did not respond to requests for comment.
Sparkboro isn’t the first marijuana outfit that ran up against neighbor concerns while trying to set up shop in the Berkshires.
The company initially had planned to expand Barrett’s 12,500-square-foot wood veneer plant to a size that would result in a facility of 132,500 square feet.
After neighbors complained that this would rival the size of local strip malls and increase traffic in an area with a school, a one-lane bridge and a culture of walking on the road, the company told the Zoning Board of Appeals in August that it would shrink the size.
But, soon, a battle ensued. “Stop the Marijuana Factory” signs appeared in yards and a website urged town officials to reject the project.
It is not known who began the campaign that Barrett says was “riddled with misinformation” regarding distances between his property and The Berkshire Waldorf School and the Green River. He plans to post a letter outlining all this on the local email group Egremont Posts. The letter says he believes that the project's opponents were "well-intentioned."
“I want to set the record straight,” he said.
In a Dec. 28 letter to town officials to notify them of the change of plans, Barrett expressed disappointment.
“So while I am bummed on the one hand, I am relieved not to have any crosshairs on my forehead from the “stop the factory” folks,” he wrote. “I am sorry for the town to lose out on the 3% revenue stream that would have been so lovely.”