A Braintree company has officially requested one of the town’s three new retail adult-use marijuana permits.
Michael Nashawaty, the president of NashMac, LLC, sent a letter to Abington Town Manager Scott Lambiase asking for “priority consideration” and approval of a host community agreement that will allow the company to operate a manufacturing, cultivation, wholesale delivery, and retail operation at 678 Adams St.
“NashMac LLC hopes the proposed Marijuana Establishment will serve the Town of Abington for years to come as a safe, reliable, and efficient means of increasing its overall tax base,” Nashawaty wrote.
However the path forward is not yet clear. The state Attorney General’s Office must review any change communities make to their general and zoning bylaws. That review is still ongoing, according to Lambiase.
Lambiase has also asked the town’s attorneys for guidance on the best way to process requests for permits or promote the availability of additional permits; for example, is the town able to consider applications on a first-come, first-serve basis, or does there have to be an open period where any number of proposed businesses could request consideration.
Abington Town Meeting in 2018 made permits for two adult-use marijuana shops. Those two permits were awarded to Bud’s Provisions, which is currently building out a storefront at 1540 Bedford St., and Green Harbor Dispensary, which recently received approval to start construction at 1410 Bedford St. NashMac was the third company to file a request for an application in 2018.
Nashawaty has said he really wants to set up a business in Abington. When voters at a Special Town Meeting last month approved hiking the number of available retail adult-use marijuana permits to five, it was based on a citizen’s petition process that Nashawaty initiated. Now he wants to be sure he’s first in line when Abington’s approval process begins.
Jim Borghesani, of Primepoint Strategic Media, who works with a number of marijuana-related businesses, said he wasn’t aware that Abington had lifted its cap, but knew of multiple businesses looking for space on the South Shore.
“Once word gets out, there would be significant interest,” Borghesani said.
Companies looking to open marijuana-related businesses must go through a lengthy state and local permitting process. The local steps include agreeing to a community host agreement, which can spell out any special conditions for operation, and undergo a site plan review before the Planning Board, which considers aspects such as traffic, parking, and any impacts on neighbors.
Successful marijuana businesses could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town’s tax collections. Aside from increased real estate and personal property tax bills, the town would receive 3 percent of all business revenue, as well as a 3 percent local sales tax on purchases. Many retail marijuana operations are hoping to make about $8 million in annual sales.
Disclosure: The author of this article is a member of the Abington Planning Board