Ashley Falls pot farm

A sign along Polikoff Road in Ashley Falls expresses opposition to a commercial pot-grow operation off the road. Officials on Wednesday denied, for a second time, a request for a permit for grow farm on the street.

SHEFFIELD — For the second time in the past two weeks, the Planning Board has denied a permit request for a cannabis grow operation proposed for Polikoff Road in Ashley Falls.

In a 5-0 vote Wednesday night, the board rejected ZGC, LLC’s application for 100,000 square feet of commercial marijuana cultivation on 6 acres.

The board denied the plan on the grounds that the location — it’s in a residential area — isn’t suited to a business. Concerns included the potential for odors and increased traffic, Chairman Ken Smith said Thursday.

Since the more than 15-acre farmland property abuts the Canaan, Conn., state line, officials and others from that town joined Ashley Falls residents in expressing their opposition.

For similar reasons, the board on March 18 unanimously denied a permit for a 98,000-square-foot grow operation to the north, off the same street. Residents had mounted a campaign against Wiseacre Farm’s plan, saying it was ill-suited to a neighborhood packed with families.

ZGC also would have had to build a structure, since temporary trailers are not permitted under the town’s cannabis bylaws.

Interest in Sheffield by the industry has prompted an April 14 meeting for an open discussion between the planning and select boards.

Sheffield has five existing cannabis businesses, including cultivation and retail, and two prospective companies in various stages of permitting. Two others have indicated interest but have not presented plans.

Heather Bellow can be reached at or

413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.