Selectmen eyeing medical marijuana dispensary to jumpstart business in Orange

  • Silver Therepeutics, Inc. is seeking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the storefront previously occupied by the Dance Studio (far right) at 5 South Main St. in Orange. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/DEBORRAH PORTER

Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2018 11:02:53 PM
Modified: 3/19/2018 11:07:42 PM

ORANGE — Saying it may increase traffic and visitors to existing downtown merchants, the Selectboard has indicated it supports Silver Therapeutics’ request to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the space previously occupied by the Dance Studio at 5 South Main St.

Brendan McKee of Silver Therapeutics, Inc., which plans to locate a cultivation facility for the growing of medical-use marijuana at a warehouse in the Orange Business Park at 158 Dukakis Drive, asked the board to enter into another host community agreement for this newest endeavor. This host agreement is a prerequisite to an application for a permit from the state Department of Public Health. The board signed a host agreement for the cultivation operation in December 2017.

“We are here to take your temperature,” McKee said, to determine whether the town will support his plan.

Silver Therapeutics has a retail marijuana dispensary in Williamstown. The state limits dispensary permits to three per person.

Selectman Richard Sheridan said, “We don’t have anything specifying cannabis retail operation. Nothing that would categorize the store as other than retail use. It would be like retail use.”

Selectboard chairman Ryan Mailloux said, “In town forums and conversations it was made very clear that they (townspeople) don’t want us to limit this in any way. Based on the public, they want to move forward. I would not oppose a good host agreement.”

Sheridan agreed, saying, “It will bring a lot of traffic and a lot of people downtown. We have vacant storefronts and existing merchants who will benefit.” He was also not opposed.

Newly seated Selectwoman Jane Peirce said, “We are happy to support your facility. I know of several people who have changed their quality of life because of medical marijuana. Economically, it is great.”

In June 2016, the Orange Selectboard voted to issue letters of support to the Orange Alternative Health & Wellness Center and to Happy Valley Compassion Center, which also sought to establish medical marijuana dispensaries in town.

Community Meeting

Silver Therapeutics Inc. will hold a community outreach meeting regarding an adult-use marijuana establishment at 2 p.m. in the Orange Armory at 135 East Main St. on Saturday.

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