FRAMINGHAM – Before Framingham became a City, Selectmen issued approval for Beacon Compassion Inc. of Norwood to operate a medical marijuana dispensary on Route 9.
Now, the company is one of several seeking the City’s six marijuana retailer host agreements.
The final decision rests in the hand of Mayor Yvonne Spicer. For a retailer to open a marijuana establishment in the City of Framingham they must receive a host agreement signed by the mayor.
Beacon Compassion Inc. is seeking to open both a medical and retail marijuan operation at 315 Worcester Road, which is located in a plaza with Citizen’s Bank and Sewfisticated Fabrics on Route 9 West.
The City’s new zoning allows for retail marijuana establishments to operate along Route 9, from the Golden Triangle area, near Shoppers World and the Natick line, to the Mass Pike Exit 13, near the Southborough line.
Last year, the Mayor signed two host agreements for medical marijuana testing labs.
As of Friday, she had not signed any host agreements for retailers.
The Mayor is using a task force to advise her on marijuana host agreeements. The meetings are not open to the public. The task force members include Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer III, the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, Chief Financial Officer Mary Ellen Kelley, the City Solicitor, Planning Board administrator Amanda Loomis, Building Commissioner Michael Tusino, and/or their designees.
The City has approved a 3 percent local tax on all dispensary profits. The Mayor can add up to another 3 percent of gross sales of a dispensary for taxes.
Beacon Compassion holds grandfathered, provisional licenses to grow, process, and dispense pharmaceutical canabis in the Commonwealth. The founders of Beacon has been involved in the canabis industrict since 2013.
In a presentation to the City this week, Beacon said its “management team is comprised of all Massachusetts based individuals that are committed to bringing this alternative medicine to the residents of Massachusetts.”
Beacon has a 3-phase marijuana plan, that includes three medical/retail marijuana dispensaries, including on in Framingham, a production/ processing center in with a commercial kitchen, and up to 100,000 square feet of cannabis cultivation space in Attleboro.
New Bedford issued a host agreement for medical for Beacon Compassion.
Boston City Council voted in February to allow a medical dispensary in West Roxbury, but no host agreement as been issued.
The Town of Framingham issued a host agreement with Beacon Compassion in October 2015 for medical marijuana dispensary.
On January 29, 2016, Beacon Compassion secured a lease for 315 Worcester Road, and has continued to hold that lease for the 4330 square feet of property off Route 9.
Since 2015, Beacon Compassion said it has invested more than $650,000 in Framingham, with license fees and rent to bring its medical marijuana dispensary to the city.
The 315 Worcester Road location is the former Katz Pharmacy. It has 15 dedicated parking spots.
Beacon Compassion told City officials in a meeting, its location for a medical/retail establishment is the “only known proposed or open dispensary location in the City of Framingham that has a 4-way directional access to the facility. This minimizes Route 9 impact.”
The CEO/President of Beacon Compassion is Vatherine “Rina” Cametti. She is a life-long resident, who lives in Walpole.