MA: Proposal To Be Submitted For A Marijuana Facility In Fitchburg

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Dobbins

Atlantic Medicinal Partners is the latest company looking to open a marijuana dispensary, processing and cultivation facility in the city.

The publicly-owned Boston-based company is expected to request a permit before the Planning Board next Tuesday, March 13 for a proposed 55,000-square-foot facility on 774 Crawford St., according to city principal planner Mike O’Hara.

If approved, the business will join five other cultivation facilities already approved or operating in the city, including two others near Airport Road. The facility would also be poised to be the city’s second medical marijuana dispensary, following a joint cultivation facility and dispensary already approved, but not yet operational, on 20 Authority Drive.

Last week the City Council Finance Committee voted in favor of a proposed community host agreement with the company, which would allow the city to tax 3 percent of all retail gross sales from the facility and 1 percent of all wholesale gross sales. Assistant City Solicitor Christine Tree said by state law, a municipality cannot require more than three percent in gross retail sales from marijuana facilities.

In the agreement, she said the company also agreed to put $50,000 annually toward the “community relations” board, a mechanism outlined in other community-host agreements that uses money from these manufacturers to put money toward city organizations or projects.

The City Council is also considering a 3 percent sales tax on all recreational marijuana sold in the city, which would be separate from money collected through the community-host agreement, according to Tree.

Though Tree said the community-host agreement is written to cover recreational and medical marijuana, O’Hara said Atlantic Medicinal Partners, pending as-yet unwritten state laws, would most likely need to get approval through the Planning Board a second time if they wished to also sell recreational marijuana.

In the agreement, the business lists its hours as 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday.

While the Planning Board has approved a number of medical marijuana businesses in the city in the past several years, only two appear to have started operations: a cultivation facility on 1 Oak Hill Road and another cultivation facility on 307 Airport Road.

O’Hara said the former business on 20 Authority Drive is still in the process of moving out, before the cultivation facility and dispensary can begin business. A proposed cultivation facility on 99 Development Road is in the process of building greenhouses.

O’Hara said he has not heard of any developments on a fifth site, which was proposed for 25 Newport St.