HOLYOKE – The Ordinance Committee has recommended granting a special permit to Holyoke 420 to operate a recreational marijuana retail establishment at 380 Dwight St.

All cannabis applicants must gain local approval before the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission grants an operating license.

Holyoke 420 plans to open Holyoke Cannabis at the Dwight Street location. The committee held a public hearing on Holyoke 420’s special permit application.

City Councilor Rebecca Lisi, the Ordinance Committee’s new chair, opened the hearing. Councilors Linda Vacon, Terence Murphy and Juan Anderson-Burgos joined Lisi.

Attorney Blake Mensing, the co-owner of Holyoke 420, said he assists cannabis companies through the local permitting and state licensing processes. “I hope that is indicative of the commitment to compliance that we have,” he told the committee.

Mensing said the company proposes to open a 1,900 square-foot store, with 800 square-feet dedicated to customer space. The store would have five-points of sale and obey city security ordinances.

The Holyoke Police Department signs-off on security plans, which included Holyoke 420’s application.

Mensing explained to Lisi the business would only serve customers directly and not engage in non-retail sales. Customers 21 years and older would present a valid identification upon entering the store and while making the purchase.

“There will be multiple layers of age verification. But there will be no wholesale sales done from the premises,” Mensing said.

While Holyoke Cannabis will not grow marijuana on-premises, Mensing said he and his partners are independently pursuing growing licenses.

Mensing expects a few hundred customer transactions daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. operating hours. “We’re also hoping to benefit from some of the public transport options in close proximity to the train station, a couple of bus stops,” he said.

The proposed store is also near the Ernest Proulx Municipal Parking Facility on Dwight Street. Mensing said the lease entitles Holyoke Cannabis to 8 parking spaces with the option to secure 12 more spots.

Mensing expects the company would hire 20 employees spread out over several shifts. “We intend to have a Spanish-speaking staff member on the floor at every shift, obviously in recognition of the population here,” he said.

Mensing added that the company would prepare for an “initial crush” of customers in the store’s opening days. If the customer volume remained high, he would speak with the Holyoke Police Department about hiring traffic details.

“We’re very sensitive in not being a congestive force in terms of drawing people in,” Mensing said. The company would require its employees to park at the garage.

Terrence Bernard, one of the owners of 380 Dwight St., said tenant Canna Provisions is repaving the parking lot, which should be completed in April. Canna removed a small building on the property.

Lisi said the applicant must submit a traffic mitigation plan to the City Engineer 45 days in advance of retail sales. Mensing said the company turned in the traffic plan before Tuesday’s hearing.

Mensing said the security plan requires Holyoke Cannabis to hire an armed guard. The company would hire a private security firm. He felt “uncomfortable” by using an armed guard in the store.

“You have to be one of the world’s most foolish criminals to attack one of these stores. There’re cameras every square inch,” Mensing said. “That’s not to say someone couldn’t try, but that’s the police department’s acknowledge about that potential risk.”

Ward 3 Councilor David Bartley said he could not recall any cannabis applicant required to hire armed security. He was “taken aback” by the requirement. Again, the Holyoke Police Department approves all security plans.

“I don’t know the rational other than they (HPD) told us, and we said sure,” Mensing said.

The special permit contains the following additional conditions:

Holyoke 420 must submit a traffic mitigation plan to the City of Holyoke, screen an on-site dumpster, pay and remain up-to-date on all local, state, and federal taxes and hire 30% of residents in nonsecurity jobs.

Also, hiring preference to be given to retired Holyoke police officers and retired officers outside the city for security positions. Marijuana consumption on the premises is not allowed, and there will be no residential or individual marijuana deliveries.