Orange pot co. gets host agreement

  • In this Feb. 17, 2016 photo, plants grow at the home of Jeremy Nickle, in his backyard in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nickel, who owns Hawaiian Holy Smokes and is applying for a dispensary, grows a variety of strains and has a medical marijuana card. Those wanting to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii face unique obstacles in a state of islands separated by federal waters. (AP Photo/Marina Riker) Marina Riker

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ORANGE — It’s a go. With a Host Community Agreement, a letter of nonopposition, purchased property and a license from the state, Silver Therapeutics, Inc. is closer than ever to opening Orange’s first marijuana establishment.

Company founder and CEO Joshua Silver attended Wednesday night’s Selectboard meeting to get a new Host Community Agreement signed. Previously, Silver Therapeutics already had an agreement with the town, but only for medical marijuana sales.

Now, the town has endorsed the small company’s venture to open a “hybrid” establishment selling recreational and medical marijuana, with the Selectboard voting unanimously to sign a new Host Community Agreement.

The Selectboard also voted to allow Town Administrator Gabriele Voelker to sign a letter of nonopposition, which she indicated she will do.

The store will be located at 5 South Main St., with a cultivation facility at 158 Governor Dukakis Drive. The company also has a retail marijuana dispensary in Williamstown.

“We’ll have two different types of customers,” said Silver, explaining what the “experience” of purchasing marijuana at the shop will be like. “We’ll have medical customers and adult-use customers.”

Silver Therapeutics already has a license to sell medical marijuana, but has applied for its recreational-sales license and — with a Host Community Agreement now — expects to be granted one. Chief Financial Officer Brendan McKee expects the store to be up and running in the fall.

“There will be a secured waiting area (upon entering the store),” said Silver, emphasizing the operations security.

Silver said a guard will check IDs before letting anyone pass the waiting area and enter the store. Once fully inside, there will be glass displays of various marijuana strains — a setup Silver has likened to that of a jewelry store.

Silver also has assured the Selectboard and Planning Board that the company is serious about keeping marijuana away from minors, even suggesting the company might help fund drug awareness programs for youth by the Orange Police Department.

Furthermore, there will not be any marijuana imagery on the storefront.

Silver expressed his desire to be a “good neighbor,” and will continue to communicate with surrounding businesses like Trail Head Outfitters and General Store. He also said the business will help the town financially, giving 3 percent of its earnings — up to $500,000 — to Orange each year.

Selectboard Chairman Ryan Mailloux said signing the agreement with Silver Therapeutics is what residents would want the Selectboard to do.

“Originally, I had a lot of questions and concerns, but after Town Meeting and opening it up to discussion (I did not),” Mailloux said.

“I’m trying to support the citizens’ wishes to the best of my ability,” he added.