| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – City Councilor Michael Fenton summed up the mood of the 30 or so people who had gathered at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club to listen to a proposal for a retail cannabis shop on Cottage Street.
Fenton, after describing himself as “incredibly frustrated” at the lack of specifics offered by Springfield Cannabis Company’s president, Steven Mrozinski, declared the meeting was “ a colossal waste of time.”
Phil Dromey, the city’s Deputy Director of Planning, added, “You did this meeting way before you should have.”
Mrozinski apologized and said he understood the audience’s concerns.
Members of the audience included representatives from the East Springfield Neighborhood Council, the Indian Orchard Citizens Council and the Forest Park Civic Association.
Mrozinski, who was 15 minutes late to the meeting, said he runs a business on Long Island that matches medical patients to doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana. He did not say he had any retail experience.
He said he is selling his home in New York to move here to Springfield for this business.
He said his store, which would be at 732 Cottage St., would have a “very robust” security system, but declined to give any details. He was not sure of the store’s hours and did not know how many people he’d hire, but guessed the staff would be 12 people, “90 percent from the area.”
The parking lot has spaces for 37 cars but he did not know what kind of impact the store would have on traffic. He said he would do a traffic study if the city required it.
He estimated 50 to 100 daily customers, and added, “I don’t’ think we’ll have a lot of business to create more traffic.”
Marvenia Shubrick, aide to state Rep. Jose Tosado, told Mrozinski, it was clear he had not done enough research on the stakeholders in the neighborhood.
Mrozinski said the meeting was “a little bit of a rough start.”