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Three marijuana establishments have set their sights on Maynard.
Selectmen moved two requests forward, and tabled discussion on a third at the Aug. 18 meeting.
Selectmen approved a Host Community Agreement for Massachusetts Solventless Extractions, LLC. The manufacturing facility, owned by Robert and Dakota Krug, will be located at Building 2, Suite 510 at Mill & Main.
Flavia Hungara, owner of Sugarloaf Maynard, LLC, told selectmen she was also interested in pursuing a Host Community Agreement for a recreational retail dispensary. Sugarloaf presented its business concept to the Economic Development Committee at the July 23 meeting.
The business is co-owned by Artur Nergaryan, owner of Art’s Specialties. If approved, Sugarloaf will share the space at 25 Nason St. Nergaryan recently purchased the former Bank of America building so he could expand his specialty grocery store.
Nergaryan said having Sugarloaf in the building will help increase foot traffic to his store.
Hungara said she realized the board had some concerns about putting a third retail marijuana shop in the downtown area, but the former bank building has dedicated parking so customers will not have to use public parking.
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Hungara said they planned to hire local employees and would look for ways to encourage customers to frequent other downtown stores to promote community development and local artists.
She pointed to space on the floor plan for an art gallery.
Selectmen were skeptical about security for the marijuana store, especially given that the art gallery would be open to the public.
Tim Hess, an architect and owner of Studio InSitu Architects Inc. in Maynard, said he had walked through the building and was confident the freestanding building would be as secure for Sugarloaf as it had been for Bank of America.
He admitted they didn’t have it all figured out yet.
“One thought is to create three separate store fronts in the building,” Hess said.
Selectman Armand Diarberkirian said he was excited that Nergaryan was thinking outside the box, but he was still concerned about having a third retail marijuana store in downtown Maynard. Mass WellSpring and GreenStar Herbals will both be opening marijuana retail stores in downtown Maynard. Since then, the board has made clear to potential business owners that they would not consider another store in the downtown area.
Hungara said hers was a social equity company, a program unveiled by the state Cannabis Control Commission to ensure people hit hard by the war on drugs can access and benefit from the legal marijuana industry.
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Selectman David Gavin said while he supported the state’s effort in this regard, he was still not comfortable with the location. While he was not rejecting it outright, he said it was too soon for him to consider a Host Community Agreement.
“I think we need more discussion of what we envision for the future of our downtown,” he said.
Board Chairwoman Justine St. John agreed, noting she thought two dispensaries were “plenty in downtown” at least until they could see what effects they would have on other downtown businesses.
Selectman Jeffrey Swanberg was the only board member in favor of the proposal. He pointed out that Town Meeting voters had previously opted not to limit marijuana dispensaries in town. He also approved of Hungara’s vision to collaborate with other Maynard businesses.
“I’m inclined to say yes. Let’s figure it out,” he said.
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Hungara said she would be meeting with members of the Maynard Business Alliance to discuss plans for a community partnership and asked the board to reconsider the retail store after that meeting.
In the end, St. John withdrew the motion to authorize the town administrator to enter into negotiations for a Host Community Agreement with Sugarloaf.
Marijuana delivery business
Ruben Sayde, CEO and co-founder of Delivered Inc. and COO Daniel Shenk Moreno discussed their plans to open a delivery-only marijuana business, also at 25 Nason St.
Their lawyer, Brandon Kurtzman, outlined the concept, noting that a delivery-only license was the newest form of license from the CCC, and was only available to those who qualified under the social equity program or as economic empowerment applicants.
“The idea is to give the individuals who are most impacted by the war on drugs the opportunity to participate in this new industry,” Kurtzman said.
Delivered Inc. would only be permitted to pick up marijuana products from a retail location and bring it to a qualified member of the public. Buyers must be 21 and older and have registered with the dispensary in which the delivery will come from, Kurtzman said. Deliveries are limited to the buyer’s primary residence and can only be made to towns that have permitted marijuana sales or have opted into the delivery-only program.
Delivered Inc. would not store marijuana and any product that couldn’t be delivered would be returned to the originating dispensary.
The business in Maynard would be for an office only and vehicles would be stored off site.
The board voted 3-2 to allow the town administrator to negotiate a Host Community Agreement with Delivered Inc.
There was some question as to whether the site was zoned for a delivery service and Kate Federoff, town counsel, said she would analyze the zoning before the board signed the agreement.