Hudson residents concerned over dispensary's parking policy

HUDSON, Mass. — The state's ninth recreational marijuana dispensary is open for business.

Temescal Wellness currently operates a medical dispensary at the Hudson location, as well as medical and recreational at another location in Pittsfield.

The Coolidge Street dispensary, right off I-495 in Hudson has been open to medical patients since June 2018, but its adult use opening hasn't been without issue. The dispensary doesn't have a lot of parking, so customers are required to park off-site at a satellite parking area about two miles away at the old police station on Packard Street.

"People are coming from all over and it's just going to be a lot of traffic in a neighborhood where there's a lot of kids out playing," said neighbor Brittany Vanderpol.

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Vanderpol lives across the street from the parking lot and says she doesn't have a problem with the shop opening; what worries her is the fact that its parking lot is only a block from an elementary school.

"My biggest concern is just the volume of cars pulling in and out of here. We have elementary school kids walking to school, we don't have a bus. Also, the middle school bus drop is right up the road from the parking area," she said.

White vans will shuttle customers back and forth to the store.

"The town itself was instrumental in us finding this satellite parking and they've been super supportive," said Linda Katz, VP of Sales and Marketing at Temescal Wellness.

Many neighbors tell us they were caught off guard by the parking lot, while others say they were caught off guard by the parking arrangements.

"I didn't know they were putting it there until you just told me, but I did know they weren't going to be allowed to park where the property is because it's just too small," said neighbor Melanie Vasselin.

Hudson Police Chief Michael Burks says he's aware that many neighbors are upset, but this was their only option, for now.

"I know there are some concerns with that, at this time, we are OK with the plan, but that doesn't mean it can't change," said Burks.

Burks didn't say if the parking area will be permanent, only that he and his staff will many any necessary adjustments.

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