Marijuana retailer requests public hearing, bylaw review

Mar 24, 2019
MATTAPOISETT — A newly-started marijuana company wants to construct a 25,000 square foot facility in the Industrial Park to grow and process marijuana.

Philip Silverman of Vicente Sederberg LLC, which specializes in marijuana law, presented the proposal on March 18.

The project, as presented to the Planning Board on March 18, would require several changes in town bylaws.
The Planning Board and Michael Gagne both emphasized that the current bylaws would have to be drastically changed to allow the facility to exist. Silverman included a proposal for a draft bylaw to town officials with his presentation. 
The proposed 25,000 square foot facility would both grow cannabis and process the plants on site, before shipping the products to be sold in other retail locations. The facility proposed growing both medical and recreational marijuana. 

The high-security facility would place cameras at every interior and exterior door, employ 20 to 30 locals and pay the town a 1.5 percent community impact fee out of its earnings.

Revenues for the new facility will likely range between $250,000 and $500,000 per year.

Mattapoisett resident Colby Rottler asked after the amount of water that would be used at the facility, and the chemicals that are used on the plants.

Silverman replied that though a lot of water is used, the facility tries to recycle as much as possible, and that the chemicals that can be used on the plants are limited.

The initial agreement with Sederberg would last five years. Selectman Paul Silva asked if the town could enter into a longer-term agreement to secure funding for town projects. 

Silverman responded that agreements are purposely kept short, “In doing that the leverage is always on the side of the town. Unless you come to an agreement at the end of that term, that’s the end of that.”

Planning Board member Janice Robbins echoed Gagne’s observation about the bylaw, pointing out that “If you do have a mixed facility there’s going to be some inconsistencies with the bylaw.”

She also asked if the facility would nee a separate license to transport its product. Silverman answered that growers are generally licensed to transport what they grow, or a wholesale seller could transport the product.

The Planning Board and Board of Selectmen will ask the town’s legal counsel to look at Sederberg’s plans, and how much they would impact the current bylaw.

Another first step to change the bylaw would be a public hearing on the proposed facility. The plan and any potential bylaw changes would need to be presented at Town Meeting, but it is unclear at this time who the petitioner would be