The board of selectmen will hear a proposal at Wednesday’s meeting to create rules for how Hull enters into community host agreements with proposed marijuana facilities.
HULL — The Hull Board of Selectmen will discuss a proposed set of rules pertaining to medical marijuana facilities at its virtual meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Town Manager Phil Lemnios said the proposed rules could “provide a framework” to analyze a request from a company hoping to open a medical marijuana facility on Nantasket Avenue.
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The company, Latitude 42, has a proposal to open a medical marijuana lab, a grow house and a dispensary at 120 Nantasket Ave., in the former Atlantic Aquarium building. The vacant building was previously considered for a performing arts center in 2007, a plan that never came to fruition.
Another company, Alternative Compassion Services, plans to open a dispensary at 175 George Washington Blvd. It has already secured a community host agreement, a required first step to obtain a permit in Hull.
Lemnios said everything in the proposed rules would help the board members decide if they should enter negotiations with the medical marijuana company over a community host agreement.
Latitude 42 spokeswoman Dot Joyce said her company is concerned because it was unclear what the steps would be following the last meeting and there has been “no communication” since then. The last meeting was virtually attended by more than 162 people. Public comment had to be cut off and continued to another meeting. It has not been rescheduled.
Many residents at the last meeeting said they did not want to live near a marijuana grow house and lab. Medical marijuana companies in Massachusetts must be vertically integrated: they must grow and manufacture most of their own products.
“We could have welcomed an opportunity to understand this part of the process, if it is part of the process, originally,” Joyce said. “We’re concerned that in order to have a successful project of any kind at 129 Nantasket, we need to have a discussion and dialogue among all in the town, and stopping us and that discussion from happening is a disservice to everyone.”
Joyce said one of her biggest concerns is the process her company will have to go through, which is much different than the one Alternative Compassion Services went through for its dispensary. The facility on George Washington Boulevard is just a dispensary; the company has a grow site outside Hull.
Among the proposed requirements, the company would have to bear the cost of “expert consultants” hired by the board. It would also have to provide a security plan, a traffic plan and a plan to eliminate odors and noise associated with the business.
Joyce said the building is within the marijuana overlay district approved at the 2018 town meeting.
“To try and change those rules unilaterally, in the middle of the process, seems to be unfair,” she said.
Joyce said no one expected there would be a “referendum” before the project even reached the planning board, which evaluates and issues special permits for medical marijuana establishments.
The proposed rules “don’t seem to meet the spirit of the state law” or the actions of the state Cannabis Control Commission and its efforts to establish local ownership of marijuana establishments, she said.
The cost to hire experts and consultants for the company and the town would be “extraordinarily onerous” for the company, she said.
“There’s no clear indication they would even welcome the proposal to begin with,” she said.
Lemnios said public comment at Wednesday’s meeting will likely be limited to the proposed rules, precluding public comment on the proposed project.
Reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite can be reached at email@example.com.