By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury selectmen are close to approving to a host agreement with Prime Wellness Centers, Inc., for the town’s first medical marijuana dispensary. The dispensary, to be located at 235 Hartford Turnpike, could open as soon as this fall. Prime Wellness CEO John P. Glowik Jr. appeared before the board at its June 26 meeting to discuss and answer questions.
The company had previously applied for a dispensary under the medical classification prior to Town Meeting’s approval of retail establishments in April. As such, they are eligible to apply for one of the two permits that the new bylaws allow.
Provisions of the host agreement for their medical application includes a 3-percent community impact fee as well as all applicable fees and service charges set forth by the Cannabis Control Commission’s (CCC) guidelines, and per regulations of the town.
Town Manager Kevin Mizikar stated, “The company will also provide other community support and look favorably on local vendors and local employees.”
Glowik has supplied the town with information regarding measures for security and communications with local police and other first responders.
“I’m comfortable with this agreement,” said Selectman Moira Miller. “I do appreciate the fact that the community impact fee is at the full maximum 3 percent… It’s a good community effort.”
Selectman Beth Casavant added, “You are local and for a first opening of a marijuana facility I like that this is someone that is a local community member and that will take this undertaking very seriously, and this makes me feel a lot better moving forward.”
Selectman Jim Kane questioned if, should the facility change hands and go from its current corporate status, that pays taxes, to a nonprofit entity that doesn’t pay taxes, would there be some protective language included in the agreement to enforce the payment of property taxes or any personal taxes that Prime Wellness Centers, Inc. would be subject to paying.
He also had concerns with the procedure (or lack thereof) to renew the agreement upon its expiration in five years and with the time for alerting local police should there be any security breaches to be immediate notification rather than within 24 hours.
Glowik said that the CCC hasn’t fully addressed agreement renewal yet. Medical host agreements are separate from retail agreements. The CCC has also not finalized retail regulations and most likely will not until the fall.
After further discussion, the board agreed to include language addressing concerns shared by the board and have a final host agreement ready for the town manager to sign by the next board meeting Tuesday, July 10.