Pubdate: Sun, 05 Jun 2016
Source: Salem News (MA)
Copyright: 2016 Eagle Tribune Publishing Company
Author: Ray Lamont, Staff Writer


GLOUCESTER - A Boston-based company is seeking to open a dispensary in
Gloucester's Cape Ann Industrial Park on Kondelin Road, the second
company to try to carve out a niche serving medical marijuana patients
from across Cape Ann.

Company spokesman Frank Perullo confirmed Friday that Mayflower
Medicinals has an agreement in place to lease some 2,000 square feet
in a part of the industrial building at 8 Kondelin Road for a medical
marijuana dispensary.

The building, which houses Glass Tech Boat Service and includes 15,800
square feet of commercial and industrial space overall, is owned by a
corporation called New Kondelin Road LLC, according to records in the
city assessors' office.

Perullo and city officials both indicated the company will be seeking
solely to open a dispensary. Mayflower Medicinals is headed by CEO
John Henderson, formerly a chief operating officer with ProCure
Treatment Centers, the world's largest developer of proton radiation
therapy centers for cancer treatment, according to Mayflower's filings
with the state Department of Public Health.

The other medical marijuana developer looking to open a Gloucester
facility, Happy Valley Ventures of Newton, is exploring city permits
to build both a dispensary and a cultivation facility on a 3-acre
property its principals have acquired at 38 Great Republic Drive in
Blackburn Industrial Park. Both corporations are registered nonprofits
as required under the state Department of Public Health's

Those state mandates also require any operating dispensary to
distribute only marijuana produced by its own corporation. Perullo
said, however, that Mayflower is planning to cultivate its marijuana
at a facility in Holliston. In addition to its plans for Gloucester,
the company is seeking to operate dispensaries in Boston and Somerville.

Final approvals

Like Happy Valley, Mayflower is still seeking its final operating
approvals from the state. Perullo indicated his company is already in
the third and final stage of that process.

"We're ready to start talking to the city and going forward," he

Those talks have not yet begun in earnest. Mayor Sefatia Romeo said
her office is aware of the proposal. Planing Board Chairman Rick
Noonan said that panel has completed its task of firming up the city's
zoning ordinance covering the siting of any medical marijuana
facilities - dispensaries or cultivation facilities. The rule covers
both Blackburn and the Kondelin Road industrial parks.

The city's medical marijuana zoning mandates preclude the placement of
any such facilities within varying and specific distances from
schools, churches, bars, residences or restaurants that serve alcohol.
It also stipulates that any such facilities cannot be within 1,000
feet of each other. In that vein, the industrial parks, which city
officials conceded are essentially the only viable sites for medical
marijuana facilities in the city given the distance limits, are more
than 6 miles apart.

The talks with the city cited by Perullo would be aimed at gaining two
documents required by the state for any final approval: a host
agreement with the city, and a letter from that city or town
indicating that it either supports or will at least not oppose the

The city has issued a "letter of non-opposition" to Happy Valley.
Gloucester's host agreement with Happy Valley calls for the
corporation to pay Gloucester $20,000 plus 2 percent of the facility's
gross revenues in its first year of operation, $20,000 and 3 percent
in the second year, and then $100,000 and a guaranteed minimum 5
percent of the Gloucester facility's gross revenues in all subsequent

Those payments will come on top of annual payments made in lieu of
taxes based on the facility's property tax assessments, according to
Chief of Administration Jim Destino and Joel Favazza, the local
attorney who has been representing Happy Valley. Nonprofit
corporations are not required by law to pay local property taxes.

Tentative support

Mayflower, like Happy Valley, will also need a special City Council
permit under Gloucester's zoning regulations. The project already has
the tentative backing of Kondelin Road's ward councilor, Sean Nolan,
who owns and operates his own business - Extreme Truck & Auto, Inc. -
in the same industrial park and just down the road at 18 Kondelin.

"To me, the citizens voted for (medical marijuana legalization) in
overwhelming numbers," he said, citing the statewide 2012 referendum
that included a string of yes votes in Gloucester and in all three
Cape Ann towns.

"I don't like to interfere with businesses or someone pursuing a
business," he said. "If the city could benefit from it in terms of tax
revenues and jobs, and if residents could benefit from it, I wouldn't
see any issue with it."

Department of Public Health statistics show the state has 24,000
certified medical marijuana patients across the state, and just six
dispensaries open to date. The closest dispensary to Cape Ann that is
currently operating is in Salem.
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