Two brothers are hoping to be the first to open a marijuana sales facility in Swansea with eyes on purchasing the Camara property off Sears Farm Road, opposite RK Plaza.
The Silvias are the second party interested in purchasing the property. The first, Xiphias Wellness, was put on hold when the Board of Selectmen did not show much enthusiasm for a recreational marijuana establishment. Since the state passed acceptance of recreational marijuana, the prospect of having such an establishment has been increased.
The Camara property is in the manufacturing zone of the town which is the only zone where marijuana sales will be allowed pending the Town Meeting vote. Without that vote, the recreational marijuana establishment could be placed anywhere in the Business zone.
The Silvias would like to have a medical marijuana store and clinic at the site. They also would like to leave the door open to having recreational marijuana on site.
“We were planning on 85 to 90 percent of the business as being a medical marijuana facility,” Nick Silvia said. “We would want the opportunity to serve those who do not need it for medical reasons.”
Nick Silvia’s interest in medical marijuana stems from him having Tourette’s syndrome, which causes uncontrollable muscle spasms, and the fact that he has been able to take a marijuana lozenge instead of multiple pills.
“I was diagnosed when I was 4 years old,” said Nick, now 27. “I was taking as many as 17 pills a day to control the muscle disorder. Then, three years ago I was advised to look at marijuana.”
Medical marijuana was hard to come by, to the point where Nick’s doctor in Rhode Island suggested that he move to the Ocean State.
“There was a store there, but as a Massachusetts resident, I could not buy the marijuana from them,” he said. “Two years ago I started getting my medical marijuana from a place in Brockton. It was one of the first two in the state to be licensed to operate.
“I take the edible lozenge and it takes about four hours to fully kick in. I might take a couple of lozenges a day. Each one is good for eight to 10 hours.”
The Silvias’ mother is a licensed independent clinical social worker with a practice in Fall River and would be part of the enterprise. The brothers also plan to bring on a doctor as well as two other specialists in the marijuana field.
The Silvias noted that the Brockton operation would be a backup for their planned facility in Swansea.
“Just in case there is a bad batch of marijuana,” he said, noting that mold can be a problem.
The brothers hope to construct a 27,000-square-foot building on Sears Farm Road as well as a separate building that would be for the medical services. They also plan to live on the property.
Nick said he and his brother have approximately $7 million lined up for financing the purchase and building of the two new structures. The present structure would likely be demolished if it cannot be rehabilitated.
Nick and 24-year-old Max started out working early in life.
“I was 18 years old and serving coffee at the Registry (of Motor Vehicles) and saw the car salespeople in there constantly,” he said. “I decided that would be a good business to be in.”
The brothers had worked with three dealerships before starting their latest in Fall River.
His own experience with securing medical marijuana, coupled with his mother’s medical-related vocation, prompted Nick and his brother to seek a location for a medical marijuana facility.
“We looked at two other locations and we heard about the Camara property,” Nick said. “It was just what we were looking for.”
He pointed out that the relative seclusion of the Camara property coupled with the land area was attractive to the brothers.
Herman Camara has been representing his family during the process and has urged the selectmen to separate this article from the effort to create an article allowing cultivation of marijuana in other parts of town. As of now, the article designating the manufacturing zone for recreational sales is the only one on the warrant.