Home FEATURED Rockland proposes policy for using proceeds from marijuana dispensaries

Rockland proposes policy for using proceeds from marijuana dispensaries

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Heath Circle recreational marijuana shop in Rockland on Thursday February 18, 2021 Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger

Wheeler Cowperthwaite
The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Mass.

ROCKLAND — Rockland will receive up to $500,000 this year from the two recreational marijuana dispensaries that have opened since last August, but the town needs a policy to use the money.

Voters will be asked at the May 3 town meeting to set up a special fund for the proceeds the town receives from its host community agreements with marijuana dispensaries.

Town Administrator Doug Lapp said the two-page policy he is proposing would create a stabilization fund to hold the funds. How much the town gets from each dispensary is based on a percentage of sales, 3 percent, and is capped at $500,000 a year.

The policy is required both by the state Cannabis Control Commission as well as the state Department of Revenue, he said.

Lapp said the money the town receives per its community host agreements are “impact fees,” meaning they are supposed to be used to offset any costs the town incurs because of the dispensaries.

The Rockland Board of Selectmen voted on March 2 to put the policy on the town meeting warrant. Some of the possible uses of the money include studies for traffic, signal lights, environmental, storm water and wastewater impacts as well as public safety vehicles, general operations and legal expenses related dispensaries.

Lapp said there will be an additional warrant article to use $100,000 from the fund to pay for two new police cruisers instead of taking the money from free cash.

During the meeting, Selectman Rich Penney said he was worried that the town might incur an unforeseeable expense but not be able to pay for it with the money, based on the policy.

Lapp said the policy is broad enough that most expenses related to the impacts of the dispensaries could be paid for.

Rockland currently has two open dispensaries — CannaVana, which opened in August of last year and Health Circle, which opened in February.

A third dispensary, owned by the Chicago-based company Cresco Labs, received a special permit in December.

All three companies have the same conditions in their host community agreements — a minimum payment of $100,000 a year to Rockland and a maximum payment of $500,000. The actual amount is based on 3 percent of the gross revenues from marijuana sales. Those payments last for the first five years of operation.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Rockland proposes policy for using proceeds from marijuana dispensaries

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