A Chicago-based company proposes to build a facility at 1015 Hingham Street.
ROCKLAND — Rockland could be getting another marijuana dispensary after the board of selectmen unanimously approved a host community agreement with a national company Tuesday night.
Town attorney Bob Galvin said the town has been using a boilerplate agreement with companies that want to open marijuana dispensaries. The agreement allows Rockland to levy an additional tax of 3 percent on gross sales for the first five years. It sets a minimum of $100,000 and caps the amount the town can earn at $500,000 per year.
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The board approved the agreement with Cresco Labs, a publicly traded company based in Chicago with dispensaries in seven states.
The board initially discussed eliminating the cap but selectmen Larry Ryan and Richard Penney said it would not be fair to treat Cresco Labs differently than the other dispensaries the town has signed community host agreements with.
Rockland’s first dispensary, CannaVana, held its official opening on Aug. 6, at its store on Weymouth Street.
Town Administrator Doug Lapp said Cresco Labs took over another group that already signed a community host agreement with the town, Hope Heal Health.
“We’ve started over with a new agreement discussion,” Lapp said. “It went really well and there were no substantive issues.”
The site for the proposed dispensary is a lot at 1015 Hingham St. which had been approved by the planning board for a general retail store or bank at an Aug. 25 meeting.
The dispensary will have to get new permits, including a special use permit from the zoning board of Appeals and site approval through the planning board, Galvin said.
Planning board chairman Michael Corbett said he was upset because it appeared the landlord of the Hingham Street property, James Radar, lied to them when asked if he already had a tenant for the site.
“He lied to us for the whole application,” Corbett said.
A day after the planning meeting, the approval of a host community agreement for Cresco Labs for the Hingham Street property was posted for the Tuesday meeting, he said.
“Is this the type of landlord we want?” Corbett said. “It’s nothing against the client. The applicant is lying to you, in multiple meetings. I’m not happy with it.”
Radar said in a Wednesday interview that when he was talking to the town, there was no signed lease agreement and he made no efforts to deceive or conceal anything from the town.
“It’s hard to say we have a tenant when we have no signed lease,” he said. “The question was asked, ‘Do you have a client?’ Until there’s a signed lease, it’s just negotiations.”
Radar said the agreement could still fall apart before the lease is signed.
Cresco Labs spokesman Christian Ficara said the company operates a dispensary in Fall River. The estimated cost to build a new facility is $1.2 million. It would employ 25 to 30 people full time and bring in an annual state tax revenue of $1.44 million. The proposed facility would be 5,000 square feet.
Cresco Labs still has to file for a special use permit in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite can be reached at email@example.com