A medical marijuana business that has been trying for more than three years to expand into Sandwich came one step closer this week to opening a dispensary along Route 130.
The Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday night, October 13, voted unanimously (with two abstentions) to grant In Good Health a special permit—with conditions attached.
The company needed to obtain a special permit from the zoning board because it will be the sole operator within the Sandwich medical marijuana overlay district, Assistant Town Planner Leanne Drake explained after the meeting.
“The bylaw also states that only one registered marijuana dispensary is allowed in the overlay—the only area in town you can have such a facility—so this will be our one and only,” she said.
The Sandwich Board of Selectmen, the police chief and residents at Town Meeting have already approved the concept of In Good Health’s dispensary, but questions remain about how much vehicular traffic would be added to the already-busy nearby intersection at Exit 2 to the Mid-Cape Highway.
Among the conditions imposed by the zoning board is that In Good Health supply a pre-COVID-19, seven-day traffic study of the area to the town’s engineering department.
Other conditions specify that substantial construction or building occupation must occur within 12 months; hours of operation will be from 8 AM to 8 PM seven days a week; a stop sign and painted stop line must be added to the property’s driveway; landscaping must not exceed 24 inches in height; existing vegetation along Route 130 must be maintained to ensure adequate sight lines; and traffic management and parking plans must be submitted to the Sandwich Police and Engineering departments for review.
Also listed in the conditions is a clause that says, “Special permits shall be limited to the current applicant and shall expire on the date the special permit holder ceases operation.”
That clause was inserted by the town attorney after the selectmen last year expressed concern that In Good Health—which has operated a medical marijuana facility in Brockton for about five years—had signed an agreement with Cannabis Life Sciences, a large marijuana company in Nevada.
The special permit condition ensures that another company would have to negotiate its own contract with Sandwich if it took over ownership of In Good Health.
The takeover by Cannabis Life Sciences, however, might no longer be a possibility. According to a report published earlier this year, Cannabis Life Sciences filed suit against In Good Health in March for failure to complete the sale of its business to the Nevada company.
David Noble, president of In Good Health, could not be reached for comment this week.
Before the dispensary can open, its owners must obtain a certificate of registration from the state Cannabis Control Commission, Ms. Drake said.
In Good Health approached the town three years ago seeking permission to open a dispensary at 449 Route 130.
Some of the selectmen and Police Chief Peter N. Wack toured the company’s Brockton facility and found it to be clean, secure and well-run.
The Sandwich facility could not achieve the necessary votes for approval from the selectmen in 2018, but last spring, newly elected selectmen were more welcoming of the idea.
There were, however, some lingering questions about a host community agreement, which led to the imposition of several conditions.
Among them were that In Good Health must pay 3 percent of its annual gross revenue to the Town of Sandwich and another .05 percent of its annual gross sales to fund local substance abuse prevention measures.
Those conditions were also incorporated into the special permit approved by the zoning board this week.