SHIRLEY — People will soon be able to buy marijuana locally, as well as legally, thanks to a new cannabis dispensary on Lancaster Road slated to open by the end of this year, the only such facility in town.
Thrive, the cannabis growing and retail business that’s been building a facility on Lancaster Road over the past year, is set to open its retail facility by late November or early December this year, according to Phil Silverman, an attorney for the firm who updated the Select Board on the company’s progress Monday night.
One of the owners, Anthony Cardillo, also attended the meeting.
“You’ve seen the construction … it’s close to opening (on) the retail side,” Silverman said, adding there are a “couple more” state inspections lined up before the Cannabis Commission signs off on the project, allowing the store to open. He expects no problems, however.
The dispensary part is only one aspect of the two-part business. The cultivation section of the building, where the cannabis is grown, harvested and stored, will take more time to complete, he said.
Actually, construction of the growing facility hasn’t begun yet, with a projected start three or four months out. Asked what the holdup is, Silverman cited “supply chain” stalls and “some other issues we’re trying to work out …”
For example, the changing dynamics of the trade, which is growing fast. There’s more competition now than there was when the company started out, Silverman explained. And the question is how big the facility should be to serve the company’s needs on site. How many “grow rooms,” for example.
Thrive expects to open another cannabis shop in Waltham soon, Silverman said.
Cardillo said that retail — the store where the cannabis will be sold — occupies only a small part of the building’s lower level. The rest is designated for growing space, he said, along with space upstairs, where Thrive’s business offices are located.
Select Board member Debra Flagg commented favorably on the new building’s curb appeal. It presents a more pleasing picture than the vacant lot that the site once was, she said. “It’s nice, it looks good.”
The outcome was as expected, Silverman said, crediting consultants and contractors the team has worked with for a successful project. “It’s a top notch facility,” he said.
Council on Aging short on members
In other business, Council on Aging Board Chairman Marie Elwyn told the Select Board that unless more townspeople come forward to join, the only option would be to trim the membership roster.
Slated for nine slots, the board has only five members now, she said, and not all of them show up for meetings, making it tough to seat a quorum — the number needed for the group to vote.
“Our dilemma is we can’t get enough people,” she said.
Unable to meet the required benchmark, the board hasn’t met since May, Elwyn said. Now she wonders if the council is on shaky ground, legally. “Are we in trouble?” she asked.
Told that the membership number is baked into town bylaws, which only a town meeting vote can change, Elwyn wanted to know if there were “emergency measures” that could close the gap now.
Town Administrator Mike McGovern said the answer was no.
Select Board Chairman Bryan Sawyer pointed out that the fall town meeting is coming up relatively soon — Nov. 28 — and that the warrant for it opened that night, with a closing date of Oct. 17. That’s the window during which warrant articles are submitted for the board’s approval.
Another option would be to call for a special town meeting, but that would take time as well. “There’s a process,” he said.
“Ideally, three more members would do it,” McGovern said. But if the COA board thinks downsizing is the way to go, an article to that effect can be placed on the warrant, he said.
“Hopefully, the five members we have will step up in the meantime so we can have a quorum,” Elwyn said.