The Town of Mashpee will comply with a federal subpoena for documents related to its community host agreements for the sale of marijuana, but it may need an extension.
Town Manager Rodney C. Collins said the town received a subpoena for a litany of documents related to the community host agreements, many of which are public record.
“I think the information they are seeking, although it is broad, it’s nonetheless something we will comply with and get out to them,” he said.
He said the subpoena either requires the town to send someone to appear and testify before the grand jury on Thursday, November 14, or send the raft of documents.
“We’re going to just send the documents,” Mr. Collins said.
He said the town had one retail agreement, two cultivating agreements and one that is pending.
Triple M is currently a medical marijuana dispensary and is applying to sell recreational marijuana.
He said the town was guided by the parameters set by the town’s attorney while other towns may have been seeking provisions that were “questionable, in the spirit and intent of the law.”
“I’m glad we took a more conservative approach, to stay within the framework of the law itself,” he said.
He said the US attorney can have all of the agreements and communications related to it and that they are in the process of assembling them.
“It’s not going to be an overnighter, that’s for sure,” he said. “They want it by the 14th, but whether or not we’ll need an extension, I’m not sure.”
The hardest thing to produce will be all the emails that fall under the very broad categories specified in the subpoena.
According to a page of the subpoena, the US Attorney’s Office wants all communications between the town and its employees and the marijuana companies, all records of opposition and support, identities of any employees who who are being paid by the companies and any records from public meetings.
“I’m thinking, OK, it’s not just as simple as the emails between myself and Triple M,” he said.
Instead, it is all the emails with everyone else about the dispensaries.
“I’m trying to think of their names,” he said. “I don’t want to miss anything.”
Mr. Collins said it would be much easier if the subpoena requested a keyword search.
“We’re totally transparent and have nothing to conceal on this end,” he said. “They can have it all.”
Wellfleet, Eastham and Provincetown also received subpoenas.
Bourne Town Clerk Barry H. Johnson said his office has not received any subpoenas.
Bourne is in the process of negotiating a community host agreement with The Haven Center Inc., and is being sued by that company for alleged malfeasance related to its community host agreement negotiations.
Bourne has also banned recreational marijuana sales in a bylaw.
According to state law, towns can ask for an “impact fee” of up to three percent of annual gross sales for the first five years of a dispensary’s operation.
According to a January 4 complaint filed in land court, The Haven Center alleged Bourne has demanded “donations” in excess of $225,000 and “transporter payments” of 5 and 7 percent.
“Said payment demands grossly and substantially exceed those amounts permissible (under state law),” the complaint states.
According to the Cannabis Control Commission, the impact fees cannot be more than three percent of the gross annual sales of an establishment.
“The Commission emphasizes that there is a strict limitation on the amount of the community impact fee that a Municipality may collect as part of an HCA,” according to the Commission’s guidance on host community agreements.
On September 6, the US Attorney’s Office indicted former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia for allegedly extorting marijuana companies trying to open there.