SANDISFIELD — "Dismayed and heartbroken" residents opposed to a commercial greenhouse plan that was approved last month have started a Change.org petition to protect Western Massachusetts from the pot industry and "out-of-state businessmen."
Lev Natan directed the petition to Town Hall, as well as the state Cannabis Control Commission and state Attorney General Maura Healey.
As of Friday morning, the petition, started Sunday, had gained 337 signatures out of a goal of 500.
It comes amid a wave of anti-industry fervor across southern Berkshire County as companies and entrepreneurs seek permitting for large commercial grow operations.
In April, Sandisfield officials approved a special permit for SAMA Productions LLC for 100,000 square feet of greenhouses. The area is remote, abutting state forest, and neighbors want to keep it that way.
"The special permit was granted despite an outpouring of opposition to this Home Depot-sized development in pristine wood," the petition said. "Letters of objection were sent to the Selectmen and published in our local paper. We hired a lawyer to draft a detailed letter requesting that the permit be denied, which was ignored."
The petition also accuses the board of rushing to grant the permit in the weeks before a vote on cannabis zoning bylaws at the May 15 annual town meeting, and ignored a deed restriction limiting the land to single-family homes.