HANSON — Impressed LLC cleared the first regulatory hurdle toward opening a cannabis cultivation facility at 15 Commercial Way when the Board of Selectmen approved a revised host agreement with the company on Tuesday, July 23.
There were no questions asked by the board or residents attending the meeting before the 5-0 vote was taken.
Selectmen Chairman Laura Fitzgerald-Kemmett summarized the changes sought by the board after a draft of the agreement was discussed July 16.
Those changes — which Impressed LLC agreed to incorporate into the host agreement — include odor mitigation and water conservation practices, board approval before any transfer or sale of the business ownership and payment of a 3-percent impact fee to the town for five years. The company may not apply for a nonprofit or agricultural tax exemption and has agreed to pay for the services of an independent third party, hired by the town, to peer reviewing plans for the facility.
“I cannot conceive that there is anything in Massachusetts that is as heavily regulated as cannabis,” said Selectman Wes Blauss.
“We tried to put in the kitchen sink there,” said Town Counsel Kate Feodoroff.
Fitzgerald-Kemmett noted that Impressed LLC has been “very responsive” to terms the town has asked for in the agreement.
“This is just the first of many chapters,” she said.
The company must now comply with all applicable local regulations as well as obtain a license from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission and comply with the CCC’s regulations.
Fitzgerald-Kemmett also noted that residents had originally voted by a 51 to 49-percent margin to support the state ballot question legalizing marijuana use in the state.
“Since that date, there have been several town meetings and ballot votes regarding marijuana-related businesses in Hanson, where the voters have had the opportunity to let the Board of Selectmen know their wishes with respect to marijuana-related businesses,” Fitzgerald-Kemmett said, reading from a prepared statement. “This board takes its role as the licensing authority seriously. It is our job tonight to determine whether the draft host agreement is acceptable to us and whether it is in the best interests of the town to agree to enter into this agreement with Impressed LLC.”
Town by-laws currently ban the sale of retail marijuana, but allow other cannabis-related businesses to locate in the zone that includes the Hanson Industrial Park on Commercial Way.
Impressed LLC has held several public outreach meetings, as required by the CCC, as their attorneys negotiated a host agreement with town counsel.
Selectmen also voted to set a fee of $1.50 per hour for the two electric vehicle chargers installed at the upper rear parking lot at Town Hall. Each charger has two plugs.
The fee covers a portion of a $250 per plug networking fee, that electric vehicle owners can ping off to locate the chargers when their vehicle needs a charge.
Selectman Jim Hickey did not like subsidizing the networking fee, but Selectman Matt Dyer argued that, without the network’s advertising of the charging stations, it would be difficult to make them successful.
The board decided to try the project for a year and review it.
In other business, Fitzgerald-Kemmett read a statement lauding town employees and volunteers for helping residents cope with last weekend’s heat wave. She said such work behind the scenes is typical of the way they work together to get things done.
“It’s important to occasionally take some time to express our gratitude for all that they do, and this weekend was a perfect example of people working tirelessly for the benefit of the town,” she stated.
The Hanson Public Library extended its hours on Saturday and opened from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Cranberry Cove extended its hours each day by two hours.
She said the Cove crowd on Saturday reminded her of Nantasket Beach.
“Quite a few people ended up taking advantage of these extended hours, but these types of things don’t happen magically,” she said. “On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, I hope you’ll join me in thanking the director, board and employees at both the library and the cove and … [Interim Town Administrator] Merry [Marini] as well as Hanson Fire, Police and Highway for helping to get the word out.”