Retail marijuana company abandons plans for VF Outlet shop

Sep 25, 2019

A recreational marijuana dispensary will not be coming to the VF Outlet. 

Health Circle, Inc. has withdrawn its special permit application from consideration, according to Dartmouth Planning Director Christine O’Grady.

The company was set to appear before the Planning Board on September 23 to continue discussions about its proposal to open a retail marijuana shop inside the Faunce Corner Road building. 

Instead, Steve Gioiosa, an engineer from SITEC Engineering representing both Health Circle and VF Outlet owner Stanley Street Holdings, told the Planning Board the marijuana company is no longer interested in the location. 

He said Stanley Street Holdings has entered into an agreement with a separate, unrelated manufacturing company for a 60,000 square-foot space inside the building. That prompted discussions about whether or not Health Circle would be a good fit for the remaining space in the building.

“There were questions as to whether or not [Health Circle] is a good mix in use for the facility,” Gioiosa said. “We know some board members had concerns about this particular location expressed at the last meeting.” 

Gioiosa said Health Circle is looking at alternate locations, and are exploring issues raised at the last meeting and speaking to tenants at possible locations. 

“We think we have some options,” Gioiosa said. “We’ll be returning with you I’m sure with something.” 

Health Circle’s bid to open in the outlet building faced an issue with the town's marijuana zoning bylaw. At a September 9 public hearing, a resident expressed concerns the location violates zoning laws because it is located too close to a location where children congregate.

The resident, James Charrier, said Healthtrax, which recently moved into the VF Outlet building, offers children's activities and should be considered a location where "children commonly congregate.” 

The Planning Board decided to defer a decision on issuing Health Circle a special permit until it had a chance to look into that issue further.