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West Springfield mayor wants to introduce retail cannabis to boost tax revenue

By on April 5, 2022 0

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – The mayor of West Springfield wants to lift a ban on the sale of recreational marijuana in his community.

The last time this was tried was in 2018, when Mayor Will Reichelt voted just one councilman to allow retail marijuana stores in West Springfield. This time he has three co-sponsors.

Mayor Reichelt looked at the economic impact of retail marijuana sales. The city voted to ban retail when it became legal in Massachusetts in 2016.

The mayor noted that nearby towns now have dispensaries, and in 2018 he could only refer to states like California and Colorado and how they handled recreational marijuana.

Now they can see firsthand how the city could benefit from tax revenue from pot sales.

“Westfield is open, pretty much Springfield, Holyoke, everywhere around us is open and selling out,” Mayor Reichelt explained, “and just look at Westfield, towns of comparable size, generating a million dollars a year in revenue that we lose out in. Our residents go to other places, they buy in other communities, and those other communities receive the tax revenue.

We wanted to know what the residents of West Springfield think about it.

“I think they should put it legal here, sell it, because everybody smokes marijuana, not everybody, but 80% of people smoke marijuana,” said Samuel Ramirez, a resident of the town. “A lot of young people, old people, smoke. I don’t see any harm. It’s like alcohol. »

“Yes, I think they would [come here to get marijuana], just because of the location,” said resident Erik Martin. “91 and 90 intersect in town, so I think that would be a prime location for that.”

Lifting the cannabis retail ban is just one of 10 things Mayor Reichelt wants to accomplish this year.

He hopes the cannabis ban will be passed by July.