Plans for 2nd marijuana shop approved

The Planning Board Monday night unanimously approved plans for an adult-use marijuana shop located at 1410 Bedford St.

Green Harbor Dispensary is the second prospective marijuana retailer to receive approval in Abington. Bud’s Goods & Provisions received its approvals in January for a shop at 1540 Bedford St., and is hoping to open early next year.

Under state and town laws, hopeful marijuana retailers must receive from the planning board site plan approval and a special permit. Green Harbor Dispensary’s hearing process took several months to compete, partially due to COVID-19, but also due to challenges the site presented.

For many years the property was a residential home with a small retail shop in the front. There’s still an inground pool on the property. Part of the structure is also located within the layout of Hjelm Street, which is an unpaved private road that runs beside the property and serves a number of other commercial businesses. And the ongoing Route 18 widening work is taking place just feet outside the buildings front door. 

Under plans provided by Green Harbor owner Nick Patel, the right side of the building will be razed and replaced with a new single story structure. The left side is a residential unit occupied by the property owner. The residential unit will share common walls with the marijuana business but will not have any direct access to the business.

Customers will be able to enter via an entrance off Hjelm Street or directly off Route 18. The Planning Board is requiring that Patel formally pave a portion of Hjelm Street, and install new granite curbing into the store parking lot in order to safely direct traffic onto and off the property.

The approvals are also conditional on two legal points: the building inspector has to determine that a retail marijuana shop is allowed to adjoin a residence under the town’s zoning bylaws, and that the town’s attorneys determine a portion of the new building can be built within the layout for Hjelm Street.

Patel said marijuana shops are able to be located in the same building as a residence under state law; his Provincetown store, which is slated to open shortly, is located in a mixed-use building.

The existing building on the property also currently sits in part of the layout of Hjelm Street, which is a private roadway. The property owner also owns that portion of the street. Town lawyers are researching whether the new building could maintain the same footprint, or if it has to be pulled back.

Both Bud’s Goods & Provisions and Green Harbor Dispensaries have already signed community host agreements with the Abington Board of Selectmen. Under the agreements, the town will receive 3 percent of all gross revenue and collect a 3 percent sales tax on each purchase.

If both businesses are successful, the sales taxes alone could bring the town a combined couple hundred thousand dollars in additional revenue. 

Patel said he hopes to start construction by the end of the year, and be open for business by mid-2021.

Voters at the Special Town Meeting scheduled for November 18 will be asked to consider lifting the town’s cap on adult-use marijuana retail shops. Currently, under the town’s bylaws, only two shops are allowed to operate. A Braintree-based company, NashMac, LLC, is asking the town to license up to five retail establishments. The company is interested in building an operation on Adams Street that would include a retail storefront, a delivery service, as well as cultivation and manufacturing space.

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