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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Continued interest in retail cannabis | News

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TEWKSBURY – With the adoption of articles in Tewksbury’s zoning bylaws at the October 3, 2022 special town meeting allowing retail marijuana establishments, residents have indicated their approval of cannabis storefronts in the community.

The regulation allows for retail operations in four areas within the city; General Business District (Lowell Street 655 Main Line), Village Southern Business District (1900 Main Street – Wilmington Line), Industrial 2 (Rockland/Hillman/Washington and East/Carter Streets), and Freeway Overlay District (495th and 93rd Intersections) .

Bylaws limit the number of licenses granted by the selection board to 20 percent of the number of liquor licenses outside the facility in the city, approximately the next whole number. For Tewksbury, the number of licenses available is three. Furthermore, the permit for any cannabis sale must be approved by the Select Board, and must follow not only Massachusetts regulations, but also Tewksbury regulations.

In addition, applicants are required to obtain site plan approval from the Tewksbury Planning Board and state licensing through the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). The regulation places an excise tax rate of three percent on retail sales of marijuana.

Community meetings were held in various public spaces, hosted by supporters who hoped to locate cannabis dispensaries in permitted areas within the city. To date, nine business entities have held one or more public awareness meetings at venues such as the Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks, Knights of Columbus, Holiday Inn, Tewksbury Country Club, and TJ Callahan’s.

Owners range from Tewksbury residents and business owners making their first foray into the industry, to established retail operations in multiple locations in the state. Community awareness meetings are required by the Cannabis Control Commission and must be published in the city’s public newspaper.

As of this print, the following entities have held outreach meetings and indicated their intent to pursue an application for a community retail marijuana location:

• Cannafords, Inc. dba Sundaze for 2054 Main St. , formerly Sal’s Pizza

• Harbor Grace, LLC for 2212 Main St., formerly Maverick’s Restaurant and Lounge

• The Stories LLC.

• Bella Luna, LLC of 890 East St. , a multi-tenant building

• Pure Tewkesbury Co. opposite 1699 Shosheen Street, Kerry Plaza

• Cloves of Hemp for 913 East St. ZP Marble & Granite and D&G Landscaping

• Community Care Collective, Inc. dba Collective for 1693 Shawsheen St. MDR Construction office

• Full Harvest Moonz, opposite 1 Main Street, Simon Service Center location

• Lazy River Products, LLC for 553 Main St., #2, in the Ocean State Job Lot plaza

According to Community/Economic Development Planner Alexandra Lauder, there will be no scheduled hearings for licensing proposals with the Select Board until all approvals of the new regulation have been received from the Attorney General’s office. But, Lauder said that because the zoning bylaw update is effective immediately, applicants will be able to begin the site plan review process if they wish.

Site plan approval is required before a permit is issued, but not necessarily before a permit hearing begins. Operations can be simultaneous, according to Loader.

The Anti-Cannabis Commission reported 434 adult licensees and 98 medical use licensees operating across the Commonwealth and more than 30,000 registered agents operating in the regulated industry as of September 1, 2022. The industry, which is now five years old in Massachusetts, reports total sales of more than of $3 billion.

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Grow guide for marijuana beginners.

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