The Leominster City Council last week approved a special permit for Prime Wellness Centers to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Lock Drive, off Mohawk Drive and Nashua Street. DAVID DORE PHOTO
The wish of Prime Wellness Centers to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Leominster took one step closer to coming true last week, with the Leominster City Council’s approval of a special permit.
The 6-1 vote at the council’s March 13 meeting is contingent on the approval of a community host agreement between Prime Wellness and the city.
Other conditions include Prime Wellness complying with Massachusetts licensing requirements, a ban on transferring the permit to someone else, paying all taxes, fees and bonds to the city, staying in compliance with the city’s zoning rules, and providing an annual report to the City Council starting Jan. 31, 2018.
Prime Wellness got preliminary approval from the state Department of Public Health in November for its Leominster dispensary, to be located on Lock Drive, off Mohawk Drive and Nashua Street. That followed the City Council’s vote in September to issue a letter of non-opposition to Prime Wellness, based in Shrewsbury, for the facility.
Prime Wellness wishes to also open dispensaries in Shrewsbury and Worcester, along with a cultivation center in Sterling.
Ward 4 Councilor Mark Bodanza and Ward 5 Councilor Richard Marchand both used the word “arduous” to describe the months-long process that led to last week’s vote.
“We had a competitive process,” Bodanza said. “We all worked very diligently to evaluate.”
Representatives from Prime Wellness appeared several times before the City Council. They secured approvals from the Planning Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department and the Health Department as the special permit process moved ahead.
Interim Police Chief Michael Goldman praised the security plan for the dispensary at last week’s