One of the three marijuana retailers chosen to move forward in the approval process has signed and returned its Host Community Agreement [HCA].
Green Leaf Health seeks to open a 1,200-foot marijuana retail establishment and medical marijuana treatment center at site of Carpets Plus at 91 George Leven Drive. The proponents returned its HCA two weeks ago, according to Town Planner Nancy Runkle. The next step is applying for permits from the Board of Health and Planning Board.
The estimated time for these retailers to complete the Cannabis Control Commission process, the town’s permitting process–the Board of Health, Town Council, and Planning Board—and remodeling and outfitting the location is close to two years.
As part of the agreement, the company will pay a Community Impact Fee to mitigate effects of the new business on roads, police and fire departments, inspection services, and others. This will amount to 3 percent of gross annual sales of marijuana or marijuana products, which also includes marijuana-infused products and paraphernalia. The fee will be paid quarterly for a five-year period from the date that the facility commences operations. Six months prior to the conclusion of this five-year period the owners and town government will meet to negotiate a new annual fee.
In addition to the annual fee, the HCA calls for the company to make an annual contribution of $25,000-$50,000 to a charity to be determined by the town. The company will also contribute 150 hours of community service per year. This can include town-sponsored educational programs for health or substance abuse, community cleanup, or senior assistance. A Community Outreach Meeting will be held prior to the commencement of business to address any concerns from neighbors or nearby businesses.
In November 2016 residents voted to legalize adult use of marijuana in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by a vote of 8,230 to 6,953. In October 2018 three articles at Town Meeting were approved, related to businesses selling marijuana for adult use. Town boards and departments met for six months to decide on locations and opted for the Route 1 Corridor and the town’s industrial park. Up to six licenses can be issued, but at this time only three applicants will be allowed to move forward.