Saturday, August 6 2022

MARBLEHEAD — The city is nearing the possible end of its recreational marijuana licensing efforts. What it needs now is input from residents.

The final stages of review are underway for the city’s approval of its second recreational marijuana dispensary deal, with three operators competing for a deal with the host community.

Another company, Seven Leaf Sisters, secured a hosting deal for a business at 385 Atlantic Ave., in late November. According to city planner Rebecca Curran Cutting, they are currently going through the state Cannabis Control Board process to get its license.

Cities and towns that have embraced marijuana legalization in Massachusetts have gradually partnered with potential cannabis retailers over the past few years to kick-start the industry locally. Businesses typically obtain local zoning approval to operate, then obtain a host community agreement with town or city leaders, then submit license applications to the state.

On the North Shore, the lion’s share of recreational cannabis has settled in Salem and Lynn. A store opened in Vinnin Square in Swampscott in August. Another in Beverly is slated to open soon, and two more in Salem are still working toward state approval after securing local approvals years ago.

As Seven Leaf Sisters works toward obtaining its state licenses, the Board of Selectmen recently welcomed the three companies bidding for Marblehead’s final hosting deal. Two of them target Atlantic Avenue – The Green Loft, at 28 Atlantic; and Flower & Soul, at 56 Atlantic. The third proposal, which had previously been rejected for an Atlantic Avenue site, Aro Cannabis, has revived its efforts this time targeting 222 Beacon St.

The selectors’ meeting saw positive feedback, mostly for Green Loft, as residents racked up endorsements from project directors Eugene Preyl and Julius Sokol, two Marblehead residents and developers.

“The managers of Green Loft, who already have businesses in the area and live in the town, show that they really care about the Marblehead community and have the potential to retain that small town feel, even with new opportunities. like this one on the rise,” said resident Emily Dunham. “Marblehead is a town that preaches shopping and supports locals all the time. This is what makes such a strong community.

Resident Justin Cook added: “It’s great that these guys are Marblehead residents and locals, and you can see some of the work they’ve already done in renovating and upgrading commercial buildings. All the proposals are going to be fine, but here is someone who is not a conglomerate, who has invested in the city, and I think the city should invest in these people.

The Board of Selectmen is holding a 30-day feedback window for residents to review proposals and offer feedback. The window closes on Friday, February 11. To provide feedback on a specific proposal, email Kyle Wiley in the Advisors Office at [email protected]

ARO CANNABIS: Aro Cannabis previously applied for a license on Atlantic Avenue but was rejected. This proposal is for the Dancer’s Dream building at 222 Beacon St. It comes with support from industry experts, CEO Mark Schuparra and his work launching Native Sun Wellness, one of the first dispensaries to open in state, and attorney Phil Silverman, whose Boston-based law firm has represented more than 500 cannabis companies across the country.

FLOWER & SOUL: This proposal is for 56 Atlantic Ave., a real estate office at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Central Street. Flower & Soul is opening a dispensary in Halifax later this spring, with the Marblehead location expected to take six to eight months to complete the state process. The team includes Whitman resident Brian Wall as founder and CEO and Hull resident Brendan McKee as consultant. McKee has ties to several operating dispensaries across the state.

THE GREEN LOFT: This proposal is to take over the Phillips and Lee Mechanic Shop building at 28 Atlantic Ave. and includes residences on the second floor of the building. Led by Marblehead residents and developers Eugene Preyl and Julius Sokol, the proposal builds on Preyl’s work with the launch of cannabis farms and retail operations in Maine and Massachusetts.

Contact Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or [email protected] Follow him on facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

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