February 15, 2019

Cultivate, three others to negotiate with Worcester for retail cannabis approvals

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Cultivate President Sam Barber tends to marijuana plants at the company's Leicester facility.

Worcester will begin negotiations for a host community agreement with four more retail cannabis stores, bringing the total number of retail stores to enter that stage to 13.

A host community agreement is required before a company can apply for state licenses with the Cannabis Control Commission.

The four new retail stores are Cultivate Holdings at 1023 Southbridge St., New Dia at 118 Cambridge St., Munro Associates at 342 West Boylston St. and Sun Mass II at 56 Millbrook St.

Cultivate Holdings, based in Leicester, was one of the first two retail establishments to open in Massachusetts In November.

Sam Barber, president of Cultivate, said the company will eventually propose plans for a new building on the site, which is currently a vacant lot after a 15,000-square-foot building was knocked down last February.

Barber said Worcester's growth and proximity to the company's home base in Leicester made the city an attractive location for one of its three permitted retail licenses.

"We love the city," he said, adding that many employees are from Worcester. "This is home for us."

New Dia, highlighted in a WBJ story about minority cannabis business owners, is an economic empowerment applicant proposing to sell products from other licensed growers and manufacturers.

Owner Ross Bradshaw could not immediately be reached for comment.

New Dia is the only economic empowerment applicant in this group of retail licenses, according to city spokesperson Michael Vigneux. Community Growers Partnership, proposing a location at 40 Jackson St., is the only other economic empowerment applicant to enter the negotiation stage.

The city announced the first round of applicants to enter the negotiation stage in December.

According to the city, the 13 retail stores are in addition to five manufacturing businesses already approved by the city. At full operations, the 18 locations are estimated to create 265 jobs.

Each store must still receive approval from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commision, the Worcester Planning Board and the Worcester License Commission.

So far, just four companies have applied for a retail license for a Worcester store: Good Chemistry, Evergreen Strategies, Mission Ma, and The Botanist.

Good Chemistry and The Botanist are the only existing medical dispensaries currently open for sale.

According to the city, 33 retail businesses have applied to open a location in Worcester, and a total of 46 cannabis business have applied.

No new applications for retail stores are being considered, the city said, but applications for manufacturing businesses are being accepted on a rolling basis.


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