Marijuana dispensary expansion plan meets little criticism in Leicester

By Susan Gonsalves, Correspondent

LEICESTER – Cultivate Holdings Inc., which has operated a medicinal marijuana dispensary on Main Street for four months, wants to expand to cultivate, produce, sell and transport the product for adult recreational use.

On Thursday night, representatives from the business conducted a community outreach meeting that attracted about a dozen residents and town officials.

Community members who spoke were largely on board with the expansion.

Cultivate President Sam Barber said the company plans to apply for a state license April 1.

He gave an overview of the proposal, emphasizing the facility’s strict security features. He noted the company is not allowed to market or package the product in a way that is attractive to minors.

Mr. Barber noted that Cultivate had created 20 local, good-paying jobs, with half of those filled by residents of Leicester or neighboring towns. Ten more jobs are to be added this year, again with a preference for local hiring, he said.

In addition, he said, all employees must volunteer five hours at town events or causes. He said Leicester would benefit financially from the expansion.

“Our goal is to be good partners with the town of Leicester and make sure you are comfortable with us moving forward,” said Robert Lally, Cultivate’s chief operating officer.

Town Administrator David Genereux noted that townspeople will have other opportunities to have their questions and concerns addressed, at town meeting information sessions at 6 p.m. April 17 and 24.

Voters will decide two town meeting articles concerning Cultivate’s plans: one with bylaws to establish use of the property, and the other a host agreement.

Currently, the host agreement for medical marijuana calls for a $50,000 annual payment to the town and runs for 15 years with a five-year extension option.

A similar host agreement will be

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