East Amherst pot shop gets go-ahead for College Street shopping plaza

  • 328 College St., Amherst, which formerly housed Green Wave, a supplier to marijuana growers. Erin O’Neill

Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

AMHERST — East Amherst village center’s first recreational marijuana store has been approved to set up shop in a shopping plaza on College Street.

RC Retail Amherst LLC, which will operate as Red Cardinal, recently received unanimous approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit for 328 College St., a vacant storefront last used by Green Wave Garden Supply & Hydroponics, a business that sold supplies to people growing their own marijuana plants.

The special permit comes with a series of conditions, including not opening before 9 a.m. on weekdays and limiting the inside space to 15 customers and seven employees.

As part of the project, a new awning will greet people at the entrance, said Thomas Reidy, an attorney with Bacon Wilson PC of Amherst.

“I think aesthetically it really adds to the site and to the building itself,” Reidy said.

RC Retail is in the process of opening other marijuana shops in Worcester and Princeton and employs former Massachusetts state Senate President Stan Rosenberg as its community liaison.

So far, only one marijuana retailer is selling cannabis products in Amherst. Rise, at 169 Meadow St. in North Amherst, opened in May 2019.

Three others are in various stages of preparing for opening, including The Herobology Group at 422 University Drive, where the renovation of the former Rafter’s Sports Bar and Restaurant building is underway; MassAlternative Care at 55 University Drive, a vacant building last used by The Hangar Pub and Grill; and MassMedicum in a new building at 85 University Drive.