By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY — A marijuana delivery operator wants to move into Shrewsbury.
The company, Many Rivers LLC, discussed a Recreational Marijuana Delivery Operator Host Community Agreement with the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen during their Aug. 10 meeting.
If approved, Many Rivers would purchase products from licensed marijuana establishments, warehouse the products, accept orders online and deliver orders from a site at 299 Hartford Turnpike, Many Rivers representative Rob Perlman said.
Company presents delivery strategy
According to Perlman, Many Rivers’ license would allow the company to serve the entire state. Colleague David Rabinovitz said, however, that they would only serve customers within a specific driving distance.
“The model is not to send out a driver like a pizza delivery — they deliver the order and then they come back and then they get another one,” Rabinovitz said. “That’s highly inefficient.”
Rabinovitz said there would be two people in the company’s vehicles at a time. Employees would wear body cameras. He estimated that it would cost Many Rivers about $20 per delivery in vehicle and staff costs.
“Our model is looking not at somebody who says, ‘I want it right now,’ like a pizza, but somebody who is a regular user, and they plan ahead [and] place the order,” Rabinovitz said.
Typically, customers would want their order within one or two days. Drivers’ routes would be scheduled and last between six to eight hours before a driver returns to the facility in Shrewsbury, Rabinovitz said.
Rabinovitz said Many Rivers will only deliver to residences, which would exclude university and Housing and Urban Development facilities.
Deliveries can only be made to the people who place the order, not roommates or spouses. Deliveries cannot be left unattended, Rabinovitz said.
Selectmen discuss impact on area businesses
Selectman Beth Casavant asked if there was data on how delivery operators affect retailers.
Rabinovitz said there aren’t any delivery operators up and running in Massachusetts, though there are couriers. He expected that The Botanist, which is located on Route 20, would negotiate with a courier to deliver its cannabis products.
Perlman said the town would receive revenue from the sales tax, the community impact fee and vehicle excise taxes.
Different from a marijuana dispensary, Perlman believes that Many Rivers will have “minimal” impact on the community.
He explained that walk-in business isn’t allowed and traffic would be limited to the staff, vendors or other people coming on business. Perlman doesn’t estimate that the business would generate any odors, adding that their products are sealed and shelf-stable.
“We plan to employ locals, and we pledge to be responsive to any and all issues brought to our attention,” Perlman said.
The Shrewsbury selectmen authorized Town Manager Kevin Mizikar to negotiate an agreement with Many Rivers following Perlman and Rabinovitz’s presentation. Rob Perlman and David Rabinovitz presented their plans.
The agreement would later come back before the selectmen.
In an email to the Community Advocate, Mizikar said the town has granted two licenses for recreational retail marijuana dispensaries.