The supporters and the detractors of the proposed facility have dueling online petitions
HULL — As the Hull Board of Selectmen prepares to hear a proposal Wednesday night for a medical marijuana grow house, manufacturing facility and dispensary in the old Atlantic Aquarium on Nantasket Avenue, residents are lining up in support and opposition.
Hull residents Sean Power and Jeffrey Shaheen are represented as the project owners and investors, for a proposed Tier 2 medical marijuana cultivation facility, development laboratory and dispensary at 120 Nantasket Ave.
The first step for the facility would be the assent of the Board of Selectmen to negotiating a Community Host Agreement, which outlines what the facility gives to the town from its profits and sales, spokeswoman Dot Joyce said. If a community host agreement were accepted, then a special use permit could be submitted to the planning board.
According to a slide presentation, the building would require extensive renovations. A host community agreement could include Hull receiving a 3 percent cut of gross sales, estimated at $1.5 million over five years.
Joyce said many plans for the old Atlantic Aquarium have failed because the amount of revenue generated would not be enough to pay for the cost of renovating the building.
In 2007, plans were put forward to turn the old facility into a performing arts center, which never came to be.
Joyce said she has heard concerns from residents about the smell from the plant which should be alleviated by a complex system that would prevent emissions.
A Change.org petition to stop the facility called “Protect Nantasket Beach,” has 672 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, while a different petition created by Power supporting the proposed facility, has 608 signatures.
Marie Schleiff, who is organizing against the facility, said she is opposed because the building would be used to manufacture marijuana products and it is “literally a stone’s throw away from the ocean and one of the most beautiful, beloved beaches in the state.”
She said she would also be opposed to the facility even if the company dropped its plans for growing and manufacturing and it was just a medical marijuana dispensary.
“I just don’t see how it’s necessary to have two,” she said, referring to the planned medical marijuana dispensary on Washington Boulevard. That facility faced little opposition when it was before the planning board in February.
Schleiff said traffic would also be an issue in and out of the facility and access to the rear is only possible by a very steep driveway. Other proposed projects, including a cultural facility, were partially nixed by concerns over traffic, which would only be exasperated by a manufacturing facility.
Joyce said preliminary traffic studies show the facility would bring in less traffic than other uses, such as a restaurant and a pharmacy.