SALISBURY — With little public opposition to medical marijuana being sold in town, selectmen asked Town Manager Neil Harrington to hammer out the best deals possible with three companies hoping to open local dispensaries and report back with recommendations.
Two weeks ago, selectmen informed the public at their meeting that they would welcome comments on allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in town. Only one resident, Jennifer Roketenetz, attended and spoke on the subject.
“I feel medical marijuana can be very beneficial if used correctly but I have to say I don’t want (a dispensary) in my neighborhood,” said Roketenetz, who lives on Main Street. “I’d be interested in seeing more data.”
None of the three companies want to locate a dispensary in Roketenetz’s neighborhood, Harrington said. A fourth company suggested purchasing the town-owned former Plains School on Main Street as the site for a dispensary. That company, however, never filed a formal proposal.
Representatives from the three companies attended the meeting. Nature’s Remedy, Old Planters of Cape Ann and Alternative Therapies Group all want selectmen to issue letters of nonopposition for their ventures. The letter is needed to gain state approval to become a registered medical marijuana dispensary.
But selectmen aren’t willing to issue such letters until they have a host agreement in hand from one or more companies.
Host agreements, such as that between Georgetown and the medical marijuana dispensary there, can provide Salisbury with a portion of the company’s gross sales each year or money to underwrite substance-abuse prevention programs.
On Monday night, selectmen said approving letters of nonopposition before host agreements are finalized will lessen the town’s leverage with the companies. Selectman Wilma McDonald said negotiating an agreement now with all three companies could provide competition, possibly reaping financial benefits.
McDonald also said she feels an obligation to