THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, May 19, 2023 Page 7 LAWSUIT | FROM PAGE 1 a cannabis dispensary at 926 Eastern Ave., in the middle of the stretch of Route 60 between Maplewood Street and Broadway, has been on the outside looking in since the middle of 2021, despite being approved by the local Malden Cannabis Licensing and Enforcement Commission (CLEC). At the time, the CLEC favorable vote seemed its biggest hurdle. That was until the company’s bid for the granting of a zoning variance from the Malden Board of Appeal was denied in January 2022, citing two statutes in Malden’s laws governing cannabis establishments that prohibited them from opening. (Attempts to reach the Malden CLEC on this case were unsuccessful by press deadline.) The main Malden-only law which thwarted Benevolent’s bid, according to owner Michael Clebnik – who is planning on operating the cannabis dispensary under the name Continuum – involved the minimum distance the business has to be from residential properties: 75 feet. As planned, the new dispensary fell short of this regulation by a mere 14 feet, he said, and that 14 feet has sadAID | FROM PAGE 1 Grant program.” The program criteria for this Mini Grant are as follows: • Must be a recognized 501(c) (3) by IRS • Must serve Malden residents • Must be “in good standing” by Secretary of State (all filings current) • Must spend funds over one fiscal year period ending prior to December 31, 2024 • Entity has not received a prior ARPA grant from City of Malden • Preference to entities providing the following: 1. Food security 2. Homelessness help 3. Behavioral health (mental health, substance use treatment, other) 4. Preventing and responding to violence 5. Demonstrated purpose is to Disproportionately Impacted communities: dled the long-awaited Continuum dispensary with a 14-months-plus wait since the lawsuit was filed in February 2022. The lawsuit was filed after the Malden Board of Appeal voted at its January 2022 meeting against granting Benevolent Botanicals/Continuum’s petition for a variance in regard to the Malden cannabis zoning regulation prohibiting siting a dispensary within 75 feet of a residential property. This came after a nearly four-hour Zoom meeting where dozens of Malden residents – including the Ward City Councillor Jadeane Sica and a Malden School Committee member – offered live testimony in favor of granting the petition. The main premise cited by the Board of Appeal in its decision was that they were not prepared to vote against the regulations put in place by the Malden City Council, essentially placing the Benevolent Botanicals application in administrative “limbo.” This was because the City Council was unable to act on granting a now-needed special permit for the business without the variance from the Board of Appeal. “The bottom line is the Malden zoning requirements re• Child Care serving low-income families • QCT (In Qualified Census Tract-3413.01/3413.02/3418) •Individuals receiving state assistance (SNAP, TANF, NSLP, SBP) To date, the City of Malden has authorized nonprofit funding to the Mystic Valley YMCA, Malden Babe Ruth, Malden Neighborhood Basketball, Food Drive, Creative Malden and the Chinese Culture Connection. “Our nonprofits were there with us during the despair of Covid-19 and continue to struggle financially.We realize the impact that these funds are not only having on our nonprofits, but the residents they serve,” said Mayor Christenson. Please visit the CityofMalden. org Transparency Center and scroll down to “Non-Profit Support” and “Mini-Grant Application” to complete an application. Like us on Facebook advocate newspaper Facebook.com/ Advocate.news.ma garding cannabis dispensaries exceeds state law and makes it virtually impossible to open a business of this nature in the city,” Clebnik told the Advocate Wednesday. “Not only is this situation depriving my business of operating in this community, it is also denying residents of Malden a substantial source of additional tax revenue,” the would-be owner of a third Malden cannabis dispensary said. Clebnik said he recalled a conversation with one Malden City Councillor who told him of a project she was working on which involved raising funds to purchase additional books for Malden schoolchildren. “We could have been open for almost a year now turning over tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenues to the City of Malden had we been granted the zoning variance we were told was expected to be granted,” Clebnik said. “Those revenues could have been paid for those books many times over.” “Why are Malden citizens not asking their City Councillors why their community is being deprived of those tax revenues due to a zoning law that is overly restrictive?” Clebnik said. The Continuum dispensary owner said there is progress in at least the timetable of the company’s lawsuit against the City of Malden at this time. Clebnik said a judge ruled at a May 5 status hearing that summaries from both parties – Benevolent and the City of Malden – be submitted in June in preparation for a summary judgment from the bench in the case. “We remain optimistic we will absolutely prevail in this case,” said Clebnik. Clebnik said the expected decision – which could come before the end of the summer – Gerry D’Ambrosio Attorney-at-Law Is Your Estate in Order? Do you have an update Will, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney? If Not, Please Call for a Free Consultation. 14 Proctor Avenue, Revere (781) 284-5657 Our 50th Anniversary Dan - 1972 We Sell Cigars & Accessories! Chris 2023 * Travel Humidors * Desk Top Humidors * Many Types of Lighters * Ash Trays * Juuls * Vapes * Glass Pipes * Rewards Program * CBD Infused Products * GIFTS UNDER $30 - GIFT CERTIFICATES R.Y.O. TOBACCO & TUBES ON SALE! SPECIAL SALE! TRAVEL HUMIDORS & ALL BONGS! ALL MAJOR BRANDS Singles * Tins * Bundles * Boxes CIGAR SMOKER’S DELIGHT! 15 Handmade Cigars - (incl. a Cohiba) $43.95 NEW STORE HOURS: Mon. - Sat.: 9AM - 7PM Sunday & Holidays: 9AM - 6PM A.B.C. CIGAR 170 REVERE ST., REVERE (781) 289-4959 --------HUMIDORS ON SALE! STARTING AT $99. COMPLETE! --------will be precedent-setting. “There are a lot of people on both the business side and on the municipal and state side watching this case as it could affect zoning decisions for years to come,” he said. “There are so many parts of this case, from the primary issue with the 75 feet to residential property regulation to the fact we are a state-approved, social equity business that has not secured our operating license to date,” Clebnik said. “The [Mass.] Attorney General is following this case closely as well.”

8 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication