MA: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Proposed For Hanover Site

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Hanover – A medical marijuana company that has already won provisional approval from the state is seeking the town’s OK to open a dispensary on Route 53 in Hanover.

The town’s planning board reviewed site plans this week for a 4,700-square-foot retail operation at 2001 Washington St. proposed by Mass Organic Therapy, which hopes to grow the marijuana at a facility in Webster and sell it at locations in Hanover and Oxford. It is the first proposed medical marijuana facility to come before Hanover officials for approval, though several companies have expressed interest in setting up shop in the town.

Town Planner Peter Matchak said the town is working on a community benefit agreement with the company to determine parameters of the facility and whether the company would pay the town a mitigation payment. Mass Organic Therapy has received a “provisional certificate of registration” from the state for its Hanover proposal, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Mass Organic Therapy Inc. CEO Patrick Johnson told the planning board that if approved his company would install a double alarm system in the building and would station two security guards at the site when it is open. Deliveries to the facility would come be by random routes and at random times, known only by the company and the police department in advance, he said.

Patients who are registered with the state and have a recommendation from a doctor would come into the lobby and be buzzed into the dispensary after their certification is verified, Johnson said. The patient would then talk to a consultant to help determine what type of product their doctor recommended, and which way they he or she would prefer to consume it, he said.

Matchak said five different medical marijuana companies approached the town, but after vetting the organizations, Mass Organic Therapy was the only one that moved on through the state registration process.

“We required them to secure a location, and they were able to in the overlay district,” Matchak said.

Planning board member Tony Losordo said he opposes the proposal, and he thought many residents would as well. Another member, Rich DeLuca, said he voted in favor of medical marijuana in town, but didn’t anticipate it coming in the form of a dispensary dedicated to selling marijuana, but rather part of what is sold at a drug store, for instance.

Matchak said the board’s purview is to review whether the site plan meets zoning requirements to issue a special permit, but not revisit whether the town should allow a dispensary to move in. The town already approved the overlay zone, which allows this use for land in that zoned area, he said.

He said representatives from the organization would continue to meet with public safety officials and town officials to finalize complete the plan for the dispensary.

“They’ll continue to meet with the town to discuss security, anti-diversion measures and the community agreement,” Matchak said.

Officials in neighboring Norwell approved in February a proposal for a medical marijuana growing facility and retail dispensary in Accord Park, just off Route 3. The company has said it wants to start construction this month and open for business next summer.

Hanover’s planning board will review the Mass Organic Therapy proposal again Sept. 12.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Proposed For Hanover Site
Author: Kaila Braley
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Website: The Patriot Ledger