AYER -- Central Ave. Compassionate Care, Inc. -- the only medical marijuana dispensary in the Nashoba Valley -- is on track to begin adult-use sales in town.
The dispensary intends to apply for a state retail license next week to open a shop at 38 Littleton Road.
"It's a good time for adult use," said Executive Director John Hillier at a Tuesday Board of Selectmen meeting. "I don't feel like we're going to have a lot of problems."
The board unanimously approved the agreement hat lays out responsibilities and conditions for CACCI and the town. It will last five years and will require both groups to meet yearly to review the terms and tweak them if needed.
Members of the board said the retail shop would be "a new frontier" for the town, but they are confident that it will be handled well based on how John and his son Mark, who serves as CEO, have operated the dispensary.
"These guys have been absolutely first class," Chairman Chris Hillman said to a resident who expressed concern about the business opening near his home.
A host community agreement and a community outreach meeting were part of the dispensary's application for the license.
The agreement states that CACCI will work with the police department on security measures, give preference to town residents for jobs, and develop and fund a emergency housing rehabilitation program for the neighboring Devens Crest community.
The dispensary will also have yearly funding obligations, including $30,000 for the town's Youth Works Program, $2,500 for charities in the area, $6,500 for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District DARE program, and $1,500 for the SAFE fire safety program through the fire department.
A $12,000 "Welcome to Ayer" sign will be built near the rotary and include an inscription on the back: "Funds for this sign provided by revenue generated by the legalization of cannabis."
As part of the agreement, the town will place an article on the warrant proposing a 3 percent local sales tax on total marijuana sales.
At the March 21 outreach meeting, the Hiliers presented plans for the Littleton Ave.
There will be video cameras, fencing, and on-site staff to check IDs. The way the dispensary operates on Central Avenue can be a guide for what to expect at the new location.
"We still intend to be a responsible business and a good neighbor," Hillier said.
He noted that there have been no police, fire, or ambulance calls to the dispensary.
Some attendees raised concerns about a potential influx of people coming to town, impact on property values in the area, and the affect on traffic.
The dispensary currently serves between 3,000 and 4,000 people,
Adult use marijuana -- for people age 21 or older -- was approved through a 2016 state referendum. As a result, recreational use has been legal since December 2016.
The Cannabis Control Commission, the regulatory body for the industry, will certify whether priority applicants -- registered marijuana dispensaries or economic empowerment applicants -- are eligible to apply for licenses for retail sales, cultivation, and other activities on April 16.
Recreational operations are set to begin in July.