IPSWICH — The planning board has approved the construction of a medical marijuana dispensary on Route 1.
The permit prevents the applicant from converting to a retail pot shop should they be allowed in town.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed under the town’s bylaw. They can sell the product to people who have a doctor’s certificate.
During the discussion, board member Jim McCambridge noted, “There’s another elephant in the room with respect to marijuana.”
He asked Spencer Kalker, CEO Old Planters of Cape Ann, if the dispensary would be for medical marijuana only.
“This will not be a location for retail marijuana,” Kalker replied, adding he agreed to make that a condition of the permit.
The Old Planters application was for two 20,000-square-foot buildings. Once running, it is expected to have between 42 and 48 employees.
One building will be for warehouses and offices. The other will house the registered marijuana dispensary (RMD) and a growing area.
The buildings will be built on a 17-acre lot near the intersection with Linebrook Road.
Meanwhile, another company, Ipswich Pharmaceutical Associates (IPA) has an active application to build a dispensary around half a mile away on Route 1.
Old Planters leapfrogged IPA in the planning process to win approval first.
IPA first came before the planning board in September 2016 but it asked for several extensions while it reworked its plans. Old Planters first met with planners in January.
However, it is still possible IPA could be open for business first since it is moving into an existing building.
One of the final issues to be addressed by Old Planters was traffic on