Holliston Select Board Talks Marijuana
By Theresa Knapp
At its meeting on June 7, the Holliston Select Board spent a good portion of its lengthy meeting discussing marijuana, specifically medical marijuana,
• Granted a medical marijuana license dispensory license to Mederi, Inc. which already operates a cultivation and manufacturing facility at 44 Boynton Road;
• Heard an overview presentation from WLMA, LLC which seeks a revision to the Host Community Agreement currently issued to Mass. Botanicals at 91 Kuniholm Drive; and
• Discussed the possibility of marijuana delivery to homes in Holliston.
Mederi, Inc. Medical Retail Approved
The Select Board has revised a host community agreement for Mederi, Inc., which currently runs a cultivation and manufacturing facility at 44 Boynton Road, to include “dispensing of only medical marijuana as a licensed medical marijuana treatment center.”
This provision is specific to medical retail which is a “different animal” from regular retail sales and cannot be denied, according to town counsel.
“The reality is you cannot prohibit medical marijuana in your community,” attorney Kate Feodoroff told the Board. “The nice part about Mederi coming in is you already established a relationship on the cultivation side.”
The additional service will take place within the current footprint of the building and will occupy approximately 500 square feet of its office area, according to co-owner Meredith George who attended the meetingin person. There should be no need for additional parking.
Feodoroff noted that safety measures are built into the HCA including building security. The medical products will be stored in the back of the facility where they will be packaged and sent to the front counter via pneumatic tube.
The anticipated hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. “much like a regular pharmacy,” said Select Board Chairperson Tina Hein.
George anticipates the facility will have “between 24 and 35 patients a day” and is contemplating having the first month be by appointment only to gauge service delivery and patient needs.
Patients are required to produce a Massachusetts-issued medical card and, per state law, no consumption will be allowed on site.
Per the HCA, the town will receive a three percent community impact fee for each sale that leaves the facility.
The board voted unanimously to “authorize and execute a revision to the existing Host Community Agreement with Mederi located at 44 Boynton Road to include dispensing of only medical marijuana as a licensed medical marijuana treatment center.”
Transfer Sought for HCA at 91 Kuniholm Drive
WLMA, LLC. has asked the Select Board to transfer a Host Community Agreement for 91 Kuniholm Drive.
The HCA is currently held by Mass Botanicals LLC, a recreational marijuana cultivation and product manufacturing establishment, that has yet to start its business.
Founder and co-founder Jill Lamoureux said the building is a “nice big open building” that needs restoration including insulation and a new roof.
She also said WLMA stands for “White Label MA,” because they are mainly a contract manufacturer, and said they are a “mostly women majority-owned company.” Lameroux has a great deal of experience in the field and her parent company has additional operations in Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, and soon Michigan.
Attorney Meg Nash of Vicente Sederberg in Boston is representing WLMA and said in a presentation that the company “is committed to cultivating and manufacturing consistent, high-quality adult-use marijuana and marijuana products...for wholesale sale to other licensed adult-use marijuana businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Lamoureux said cultivation will likely be a temporary use of this facility.
“It is approximately a 45,0000 square foot facility which is plenty large but not large enough to sustain our long-term goals for cultivation,” noting they will likely move the cultivation out of there in three or four years. “The intent for this facility is it will become 100 percent for manufacturing while that business expands.”
Nash said that, if approved, WLMA expects to commence operations by August 2022.
Town Counsel Kate Feodoroff said, if approved, WLMA would assume the terms of Mass Botanicals 2018 HCA which also includes a three percent community impact fee.
The board made a motion to defer action on the transfer and asked WLMA to return at a later date with a presentation that details their cultivation operation.
Legislative Update on Cannabis Delivery
Town Counsel Kate Feodoroff advised the Select Board that an additional type of delivery is now available for cannabis. Delivery by currier has been available for some time (though not in Holliston) and the Cannabis Control Commission has just added a second category of “operator delivery.”
Feodoroff explained that operator delivery “allows someone to take the marijuana from that facilty but they can take it and repackage it and sell it as their own.” She suggested the town consider if they want to allow the delivery of marijuana within town lines adding that, currently, Holliston bylaws prohibit marijuana retail and, per the CCC, retail delivery is not allowed in communities whose regulations prohibit retail.
A change in the bylaw would require a town meeting vote and a ballot vote. The Select Board will continue to discuss the issue and consider placing a question on the October town meeting warrant.