Shirley Selectmen Eye Three Pot Proposals
By M.E. Jones
SHIRLEY -- Thrive Cultivation and Dispensary LLC is the third outfit to pitch a pot plan to the selectmen this year.
With three hopefuls lined up so far, the board plans to send out an RFQ (request for qualifications) before moving forward with any of them, Town Administrator Mike McGovern said.
Next, a selection subcommittee will evaluate proposals based on established criteria, and “score” them for review by a third party. “The board can decide how many they want to entertain,” he said.
Positing that the town can support only one marijuana business, he said the board could negotiate with the top candidate and move on to the next step in the state application process: drafting a Host Community Agreement, as required by the Cannabis Control Commission.
Previously, the selectmen agreed to work on an HCA with MJ’s Market, the first firm to propose a plan to the board earlier this year. But as more proposals surfaced, they decided to hold off, McGovern said.
An investor-backed start-up with a team of professionals on board, MJ’s would grow and sell its products on site. The group is eyeing a property on Lancaster Road, within an industrial/commercial zoning district designated for the purpose in the town’s marijuana bylaw.
The other two businesses chose sites in the same area.
Marchetti Industries’ Michael Marchetti came next. A lifelong resident who cited his town roots as a plus, his business would be retail only, with plants grown off site by another firm he aims to buy from.
Marchetti projected taking in $10 million annually once the business is up and running.
Benefits to the host community include revenue from impact fees and a three-percent cut on sales taxes the state levies on the business.
Proponents expect few problems with state regulations. Plus, the applicant must still go through the local permit process.
Any deal the selectmen made would be vetted by town counsel.
Thrive would be a three-tier operation, according to the attorney who made the company’s case to the board. His law firm, Vincente Sederberg, LLC, based in Denver, Colorado, set the bar for state-legalized marijuana enterprises in the U.S.
Dubbed “the country’s first powerhouse marijuana law firm” by Rolling Stone magazine, cannabis is his firm’s only business, he said, so they know how to counsel their clients to do it by the book, legally.
Sketching a farm-to-table scenario, he said Thrive would grow, harvest and package its product on site and sell it there, as well as to other retail shops in the state.
Thrive team partners and associates peopled the Town Offices meeting room for the presentation, including members of the Cardillo family, which founded the firm and owns the business. The family also owns and operates an excavating company, Cardillo & Sons Inc., in business for over 70 years.
The Cardillo family owns land on Lancaster Road where they hope to erect a new building for their marijuana business, which would feature all the bells and whistles the Cannabis Control Commission requires, such as 24/7 security, restricted interior access and plenty of parking. Plus any provisions the police chief asks for, the attorney said. “We always defer to the police,” he said.