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E. Arlington, Summer St. plans vie for last recreational-marijuana license

Proposal for Broadway outlet before Redevlopment Board

Recreational-marijuana logo

You had to stay up past midnight to see it, but two competing plans for recreational-marijuana shops were introduced to the Select Board on Oct. 5. The same night, a third plan, proposed for Broadway, near Somerville, came before the Redevelopment Board. Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

Apothca opened last month, offering recreational and medical marijuana at the former Swifty Printing in the Heights.

Thus, three companies are vying for two licenses. Unveiled to the Select Board were plans by Calyx Peak of Foxborough at a former service station on Summer Street and by the Human Connection of Arlington, possibly at a site now occupied by Buzzy's Bazaar, behind Menotomy Grille on Mass. Ave. near the Cambridge line.

The late-night presentations were held so the Select Board could consider aspects of the third and final license for a marijuana host agreement.

Calyx Peak, Human Connection

Calyx Peak had received initial board approval in May 2019.

Edward Schmults and Pete D’Agostino returned. The plan is to tear down the former station at 251 Summer St. now an auto-body shop. Their 3,000-square-foot store, similar to the size of the current building, would sell recreational marijuana to customers 25 and older.

The aim is to conduct 200 transactions a day, managed by 18 full-time employees.

The company is seeking an agreement with Swampscott, has a growing facility in Worcester and has operations in three states, including a medical-marijuana outlet in Santa Monica, Calif.

The second proposal, for The Human Connection, was described by Jared Glanz-Berger, who calls himself a “serial entrepreneur,” and lives on Florence Avenue, Arlington.

The presentation offered two addresses – 369 Mass. Ave., where The Arlington Center is now, and 23-35 Mass. Ave., addresses that encompass CVS and Menotomy Grille. Later discussion clarified that the site is Buzzy's Bazaar, behind the grille. A chart with the agenda documents shows why the company favors it.

Glanz-Berger said the company has been “busy” in the Pioneer Valley, with a provisional license for a medical facility in Agawam and breaking ground for an outdoor greenhouse in Whately.

The proposed location, near the town's only hotel, has 120 parking spots serving a variety of businesses, and Glanz-Berger said he is committed to diverse hiring for this seven-day-a-week business.

See the ACMi video of the Oct. 5 meeting:

THC's comparison chart also shows Calyx Peak's proposed 251 Summer St. site Glanz-Berger said that location would require a “dramatic change in use.”

Board member Steve DeCourcey asked whether the 369 Mass. Ave. location is off the table, and Glanz-Berger said it is.

Town Counsel Doug Heim said the 2,000-foot buffer zone required under state law around such facilities cannot be waived.

Board member Len Diggins said that liked the idea of Arlington-based business and would follow the will of Town Meeting, in that. Precincts 3 and 4 voted by a 2-to-1 margin favoring recreational marijuana. “I do not like the Calyx location at all,” he said.

Member Joseph Curro moved to postpone further discussion of both proposals until the next board meeting, Oct. 19.

Quoting his late grandfather, he said: “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”

The vote to adjourn was 5-0.

See all Select Board agenda documents for these two plans >>

See the ACMi video of the Oct. 5 Redevelopment Board meeting:

Applicant to return Nov. 2

Meanwhile, also on Oct. 5, the Redevelopment Board reopened its public hearing about the application for Eskar, a recreational-marijuana outlet proposed for 23 Broadway that the Select Board approved to move forward in June 2019.

Hearing its Sept. 3 application for more than an hour, board members and staff raised these concerns with representatives of the Middleton company -- about parking (car and bicycle), traffic circulation, in-store circulation and a tight parking lot, windows and design, among others.

Arlington attorney Mary Winstanley O'Connor, representing Eskar, said the operation's use in a B2A zone had been approved and that voters in 2016 had supported such an operation.

The applicants plan to return to the Nov. 2 board meeting after making requested changes.

One member of the public spoke. Don Seltzer suggested reversing traffic flow into the lot by having it enter from Sunnyside.

See all agenda documents here >> 


Sept. 16, 2020: Town's first recreational-marijuana shop open in Heights

 


This news summary was published  Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. 

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