C3 Industries, ReLeaf Alternative, and Revolutionary Clinics, which all seek to open recreational marijuana shops (i.e., print money) on Rte. 9 in Natick, haven’t been dissuaded by neighbors’ concerns or their failure to be chosen by the town for a license during the first go-round. Only an outfit called Cypress Tree earned the town’s blessing in Round 1, and it is now going through the Host Community Agreement phase for its plans to operate at the Cloverleaf Mall.
The runners-up for a second license will have another chance to dazzle the public and town officials with heartwarming tales of community and education in a series of meetings slated between March 22-29. They had an option to revise proposed locations, but they’re generally sticking with their original sites (or in one case, the property proposed by a previous contender), seeing Rte. 9 as the most likely road to riches.
Neighbors of some of the proposed locations have been vocal in their opposition to pot shops opening in their area due to traffic, character, and other concerns. Select Board Chair Jonathan Freedman stated at the March 10 board meeting that he and fellow board members are not insensitive to the concerns expressed by neighbors, though Select Board members have stressed that they’ve also heard from plenty of people who want the shops to open but who don’t necessarily want to go public with their support.
Upcoming pubic outreach meetings:
- C3 Industries, seeking to operate at 42 Worcester St., will tee things off at 6pm on March 22 via Zoom.
- Revolutionary Clinics will double dip with pitches for locating at 61 Worcester St. (Bernie & Phyl’s) and 6 Worcester St. (Nine East Wine Emporium site) . The meetings are slated for March 23 and March 29, respectively, via Zoom. Those against the Bernie & Phyl’s site have been out with their signs, and the Nine East location has gotten the attention of Natick and Wellesley residents given it is pretty much right on the town line.
- ReLeaf will discuss its plans for a business at 291 Worcester St., a former Papa Gino’s site, on March 25 at 7pm via Zoom
Natick officials have said supporting the businesses isn’t all about the money. But cannabis is big business in the state and promises to be for the town. The Cannabis Control Commission gushed in a press release this past fall that gross sales have topped $1 billion in aggregate among the dozens of shops that have opened since late 2018. Natick stands to reap tax revenue, and the businesses will make thousands of dollars in charitable contributions locally.
Natick has been angling for retail adult-use marijuana shops since voters came out in support of legalizing recreational cannabis use back in 2016. Over the past year, Natick has given the go-ahead to a medical marijuana dispensary and a testing lab, and is exploring the possibility of delivery and wholesale companies opening as well.
If Natick does choose to enter into a Host Community Agreement with any of the remaining candidates for a recreational marijuana dispensary, it will still be a while before any such establishment would open, according to Select Board Chair Freedman, speaking at the March 10 meeting. The process would include state and town licensing, and a Planning Board special permit process, all of which will be done in public, he said.
The Natick Economic Development Committee has an agenda items on a couple of Town Meeting warrants that are marijuana related slated for its next meeting on March 18 at 8:30-10am:
Spring Town Meeting 2021 Warrant Article Review and Discussion
- Article 26 – Amend Zoning By-Laws: Adult-Use Marijuana Establishment Uses
- Article 29 – Amend Zoning By-Laws to Create Residential Buffer Zones Regarding Licensed Marijuana Retailer Establishments under Section III-K.2: Adult Use Marijuana Establishments
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