Numerous neighborhood associations, and one Friends group, on the South End/Back Bay line are reporting that Geoff Reilinger has approached them with a potential proposal to locate a marijuana shop at 29 Stanhope St. – directly across the street from Freida Garcia Park.
Stanhope Street is in disputed territory, with some in the Ellis South End Neighborhood Association claiming it as their catchment area, and some in the Back Bay indicating it’s on their turf. So far, Reilinger has been meeting with several South End leaders to pitch the idea of having a recreational marijuana shop at that location – a venture he calls Redemption Boston.
“Redemption BOSTON will be the only locally owned and operated dispensary in Boston, leading to a commitment to the community and the customers whom we serve,” read a presentation prepared for neighborhood leaders. “We will provide preference in hiring for locals and those from protected classes in Massachusetts, and we will strive to maintain staff as diverse as the community which we serve.”
Reilinger lives in the Back Bay with his family, and has previously attempted to open two other marijuana operations. The first was on Newbury Street where he permitted the facility, but couldn’t get it to opening and eventually sold it off his rights and leased it to another operator. The second venture was at 633 Tremont St. in the South End where he went head-to-head with what is now Affinity Medical Marijuana – which prevailed in the competition and opened its doors in December on Albany Street.
Reilinger’s presentation stressed that it was a discreet location and there was no school in the immediate vicinity, very little pedestrian traffic, few immediate neighbors and no traffic congestion.
One point of contention right away is the Frieda Garcia Park across the street, which is constructed with a playground for children. Many neighbors in the early discussions have brought that up, and Reilinger’s presentation addressed protections for the park and a pledge to join the Board of the Friends group.
Some of the park protections cited included:
•Any customer violating regulations for marijuana consumption in the park would be forever banned from the facility.
•Police details that would enforce no public consumption.
•Cameras could be posted in the park if the neighbors would want that.
•A 24-hour e-mail and phone line to contact with concerns.
In addition to Reilinger, the team includes Security Consultant Dan Linskey, and Attorney William Luzier. The Advisory Board includes Dr. Liz Reilinger and Dr. Richard Atkinson.
Those close to the discussions indicated there is no formal application yet from Reilinger to the City’s Cannabis Board. However, those privy to the conversations indicated he would like to go before the Board by the end of the month, and that he hoped to have neighborhood support, or not, by that time as well.