Cambridge district officials OK pot shop 400 feet from school property

The Cambridge School Committee declined to go on record as opposed to the recreational cannabis dispensary being proposed near the King Open Complex and Frisoli Youth Center.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2018, file photo, an employee stocks cannabis at a store shortly before its first day of recreational marijuana sales in San Francisco. California has endorsed a rule that will allow home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that have banned commercial pot sales. The rule finalized Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, by state officials was opposed by police chiefs and other critics who say it will create an unruly market of largely hidden pot transactions and encourage potential criminal activity. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
–Noah Berger / AP

Cambridge school officials are not objecting to a recreational marijuana dispensary being proposed down the street from a district school complex and youth center. 

The Cambridge School Committee declined last week to go on the record opposing the proposed dispensary at 966 Cambridge Street, just over 400 feet from the Cambridge Street Upper School, King Open School, and Frisoli Youth Center, the Cambridge Day reports.

Committee member Fred Fantini, who presented the motion, was the only official to vote for voicing objection to the proposal, according to the newspaper. Fantini presented the motion after hearing concerns from families in the neighborhood about the proposed Adversa MA dispensary going in at the site of the former Harvard Glass store. But no community members spoke on the issue during the Oct. 15 meeting’s public comment period. 


“We want to make this a safe and secure location for a business that meets all requirements of the zoning laws,” Gerry McDonough, an attorney for Advesa, said during the meeting. “We want to be good neighbors and keep the neighborhood safe, keep [cannabis] away from young people.” 

The rough distance between the proposed site of a cannabis dispensary in Cambridge and the King Open Complex. —Google Maps

State law stipulates that marijuana dispensaries not be located within 500 feet of pre-existing public or private schools, but allows municipalities to adopt ordinances to reduce the distance requirement. 

According to the Day, the Cambridge City Council voted in September to reduce the required distance to 300 feet. According to the newspaper, Advesa will next submit an application to the city’s Planning Board to start the next round of approvals and community input. 

The school complex at 840 Cambridge Street recently underwent a major redevelopment project and is celebrating its reopening on Saturday.