Planning Board greenlights marijuana dispensary

Feb 8, 2021

Much like Cheech and Chong, Dartmouth could soon be ‘up in smoke’ after the Planning Board greenlit a proposed recreational marijuana dispensary for Faunce Corner Road at a Feb. 8 meeting.

The board voted unanimously to grant a special permit to Somerset-based Solar Therapeutics, which would operate the dispensary from a proposed site at 493 Faunce Corner Road.

“We have a good operation in Somerset,” CEO Edward Dow said. “And we intend to try to bring that exact business model over to Dartmouth.” 

The dispensary would be located in the town’s marijuana overlay district, which covers a portion of Faunce Corner Road and the New Bedford Business Park. Any marjiuana cultivation and packaging, Dow said, would take place in Somerset.

A special permit was previously granted to Apotho Therapeutics for the same space, but Mark Bobrowski — attorney for property owner Paskamansett LLC — noted that the Plainville-based business had not “consummated the land deal” with the landlord.

According to Dow, the proposed dispensary would follow the same operating hours as the Somerset store, which is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — with 10 p.m. closures on Friday and Saturday.

The site itself would be surrounded by a fence with privacy slats.

Initially, the plan was for a chain link fence, but Planning Board Chair Lorri-Ann Miller said current bylaws require more specific fencing.

“The outdoor fencing of any marijuana establishment shall be a nonreflective earth-tone color such as brick or dark green,” she said.

Officials also expressed concern over the security of the dispensary, but Chief of Security Mike Allen assured the board it would be “the safest and most secure building” in the community.

Allen noted that the facility would have a video surveillance system that would be accessible to the Dartmouth Police department “in real time.” The security chief added that any customer’s ID would be checked  three times before any purchase is made.

“It would be a facility you could be proud of,” Allen said.

With the special permit approved, the dispensary can go through the process of setting up a Host Community Agreement — a contract stipulating terms and conditions of operation — with the town. 

Once the parties have agreed on the terms of that contract, the company will apply to the state Cannabis Control Commission for permission to open.

“Welcome to Dartmouth,” Miller said.