Going green: Town approves marijuana host agreement

May 10, 2021

Dartmouth could be seeing green in its future after the town’s Select Board voted unanimously to sign a host community agreement with cannabis company Solar Therapeutics, LLC at a meeting on May 10.

The Somerset-based marijuana manufacturer and retailer plans to build a store near the Dunkin’ currently under construction as part of the 479-493 Faunce Corner Rd. development.

The board had previously granted a host community agreement to Plainville-based Apotho Therapeutics for the same space in May 2020, but it was noted at a Planning Board meeting earlier this year that a deal between Apotho and the landowner fell through.

“This has been a long process for the town,” said Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes at the May 10 meeting, adding that the town has seen multiple companies apply to become retail marijuana vendors and that it is a “very thorough process.”

This will be the town’s first retail marijuana license,” he noted.

Solar Therapeutics President and CEO Edward Dow had presented the proposed retail facility to the Select Board at a March 22 meeting.

Although the company’s Somerset facility includes cultivation and manufacturing as well as retail, the Dartmouth location will only be a retail operation, he told the board.

It would include a secure loading and storage area, a second story for future expansion, and solar panels on the roof and parking lot.

The building would also be secured with comprehensive, state-of-the-art systems including video surveillance, alarms, and three levels of electronic access control, according to security chief Mike Allen.

With the agreement signed, the company will now have to apply for a license from the state Cannabis Control Commission. 

A host agreement must be in place before a company can apply for a state license.

Once granted the state license, it will be able to open up shop.

Dow told the board that he expects the facility to be operational in less than a year, and anticipates around $15 million in sales for the first year of operation — with some of the revenues going back to the town.

“It’s extremely beneficial to the Town of Dartmouth,” said Director of Development Cody Haddad of the agreement. “We’re certainly getting our fair share when you look at other communities.”

Among the benefits include the receipt of 6% of the company’s revenue per year through a community impact fee as well as local sales taxes, plus a $50,000 bonus for the town to use in various department budgets.

“They’ll also make efforts to make donations to local charities,” Haddad noted. “In Somerset last year they’ve donated over $10,000 to local charities, and they expect to do the same in Dartmouth.”

All told, he said, “the town is looking at probably somewhere around $500,000 in additional revenue.”

“Thank you all,” said company representative Rob Keller after the board’s vote. “We look forward to working with the town, you guys have been great so far.”