By Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2021

HINSDALE, Mass. (AP) - Leaders in a small Massachusetts town have granted a special permit for a 91,000-square-foot outdoor cannabis farm in the community after the company’s president promised that neighbors’ concerns about odors, heavy water use and road dust would be unfounded.

The Hinsdale Select Board granted the special permit to FFD Enterprises MA on Thursday, with two members voting in favor and a third recusing herself due to a financial conflict, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

The permit appears to come in time for FFD to start planting this summer. The site will be for cultivation and processing only, not retail sales.

Approval came after neighbors pressed FFD President Benjamin Zachs and his team for assurance that the venture would not deplete underground water supplies, bring unwanted odors or raise road dust because of traffic. Representatives of FFD said they believe they can manage water use to avoid overtaxing underground resources.

Zachs has promised to use local contractors and create 20 year-round jobs.

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