By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Hudson could see a second recreational marijuana dispensary open by mid-November, developers now say following a unanimous vote by the Planning Board.
Native Sun Wellness secured the board’s stamp of approval at its Aug. 4 meeting, putting them into the final stretch of a complex and at times controversial two-year permitting process.
Now headed to the state Cannabis Control Commission for final approval from them, Native Sun Representative Michael Drayer says he sees a timeline of between 90 and 120 days leading to an official opening day.
“We are where we would like to be,” he said on Aug. 4.
Native Sun is a planned regional franchise with a large-scale production center in Fitchburg and two proposed storefronts, in Hudson and in North Attleborough.
The Hudson store, once open, aims to offer high end products just down the street from Temescal Wellness, another dispensary.
“Hudson is a progressive, eclectic community that we look forward to joining as we provide a premier, high quality cannabis experience to the area,” the company wrote on its website.
Native Sun took its first steps in Hudson two years ago when Hudson selectmen signed a letter of non-opposition and a community host agreement with company officials.
Since then, the company has bounced between state and local boards and governing bodies processes, trying to navigate the extremely complex and rigorous approval process Massachusetts set up in 2017 to regulate its new cannabis industry.
In 2019, Temescal Wellness planned to open immediately after getting greenlit by the state. Hudson officials, though, temporarily stepped on the brakes, noting that Temescal had not submitted a proper traffic management plan.
Seeking to avoid a repeat, Hudson made Native Sun’s Planning Board approval contingent on the police department’s satisfaction with the company’s own traffic management plan.
Native Sun complied, submitting said plan and taking town officials on a site visit to their nearly complete storefront within Hudson’s marijuana overlay district in the shadow Highland Commons.
On Aug. 4, Hudson Police Chief Rick DiPersio confirmed he was satisfied with all he had seen.
“They have everything under control,” he said of Native Sun.
Having cleared the final major hurdle in the local permitting process, Native Sun’s aforementioned final steps at the state level include getting a final license inspection, and a commence operations certification among other things.