Debbie LaPlaca Correspondent @deblaplaca
CHARLTON – An off-site marijuana dispensary in town could be operational next year.
Attorney James A. McMahon is seeking a letter of non-objection from selectmen to locate a marijuana dispensary on Route 20 at Masonic Home Road.
Mr. McMahon is a director for HealthWise Foundation Inc., a nonprofit wellness collective founded in Massachusetts.
At a recent board meeting, Mr. McMahon told selectmen his organization’s hope and business plan is to expand the dispensary to sell recreational marijuana when permitted to do so by the state.
For now, the company is in the third stage of its application for a state permit to sell medical marijuana and if all goes as planned, the dispensary shelves in Charlton will be stocked in about a year.
Mr. McMahon told selectmen the letter of non-objection is not a nod of support but is needed to proceed with the state permit application.
HealthWise Foundation, he said, is preparing a 153,000-square-foot marijuana cultivation, packaging and processing facility in North Brookfield.
The company has an agreement to purchase the vacant building facing Route 20 and the two parcels behind it. The building was selected for its proximity to the North Brookfield growing facility and the Charlton police station.
The company’s first choice for the 1,000-square-foot concrete building at 46 Worcester Road is to renovate, but if that’s not possible it will raze and rebuild.
Building plans include state-of-the-art security, such as 360-degree security cameras indoors and out, with a live feed into the police station.
Planning Director Alan I. Gordon said the site is zoned Community Business and the dispensary will require Planning Board administrative site plan review.
Mr. McMahon said once the state issues a permit, six months are needed for growing and harvesting and another month for curing and testing. The