LEICESTER - Last year, Leicester selectmen negotiated a host agreement to locate a medical marijuana facility on Main Street, the first of its kind in the region.
Now, representatives from Cultivate Holdings Inc, would like to develop a similar arrangement to allow for the sale of marijuana for nonmedical use by adults.
Robert Lally, chief operating officer, said a new agreement could mirror the medical one, which is for 15 years with a five-year extension option and calls for a $50,000 annual payment to the town to mitigate any impact the business may have.
Mr. Lally said Cultivate wants to work with the community to allow for this expansion of the dispensary, which cultivates, processes and dispenses marijuana under one roof.
Because Cultivate is already in the medical market, the state allows the company to apply on April 1 for a license for recreational marijuana sales. The board could anticipate a letter from the state, Mr. Lally said, and a public meeting must be held with abutters.
An anticipated opening is July 1.
He said 3 percent of the gross sales would go to the town as a tax, and in addition, an impact fee could be negotiated, up to 3 percent.
Mr. Lally suggested a 1 percent impact fee.
Town Administrator David Genereux said he took the liberty of drafting a warrant article because town meeting in May must approve the measure.
Selectman Sandy Wilson said that she was confused by what she was hearing because other towns appeared to have agreements in the $200,000 plus category and Leicester's prospects seemed lower.
Mr. Lally replied that Cultivate would have to make $5 million in revenues for the host community to get $250,000. He also said that he hadn't seen any host agreements for adult nonmedical marijuana use in the area and the company wanted to get a jump on the market.
Selectman Douglas Belanger cautioned about negotiating in public and instead said members should give Mr. Genereux some guidelines to work with while developing a pact.
“Throwing numbers around is negotiating against ourselves," he said. "Let's be careful.”
The board also questioned how successful the present operations are, looking to the future expansion.
“One percent is great if you are doing high numbers," Selectman Brian Green said. "If not, then 1 percent is not going to help the town.”
He added, "We want to make it work for you and for us."
The board decided to meet with Cultivate in executive session at the March 26 meeting and also discuss the issue when they review town meeting warrant articles on April 2.