One of the the two medical marijuana dispensaries approved a while back by the Lynn City Council was back before the body last Tuesday.
Alan Rothenberg’s Olde World Remedies Inc. already received approval by the Council to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 953 Western Ave. but still needs a special permit from the Council before the shop opens.
At last week’s hearing, the Council voted unanimously to grant Rothenberg his special permit but with the proviso that a Host Community Agreement is signed by Mayor Thomas McGee before the permit is issued.
Rothenberg’s Attorney Jim Smith testified at the hearing that his client had already attained all his Department of Public Health approvals but there was a slight delay finding a marijuana cultivation site for the dispensary.
“Last February you granted us one of the two medical marijuana licenses for the City of Lynn,” said Smith. “Since then we have met with a number of Councilors, the former and current mayor, and many have asked ‘why the delay?’. We have been trying hard to look for a cultivation site and it took us a while.”
Smith said Rothenberg has finally secured a site in Grafton, Mass and will begin the process of cultivating medical marijuana very soon.
Smith pointed out that his client had already drafted a Host Community Agreement that went to the desk of former Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy but went unsigned. The agreement was sent to Mayor McGee on January 17 and is now awaiting his signature.
“This is a unique Community Host Agreement,” said Smith. “Mr. Rothenberg has agreed to do give city all of the profits to local charity. He has no desire to make money at this location. He is great believer (in medicinal marijuana) and has family members that use this medicine so he wants to be able to share it with the community.”
While Smith said Rothenberg plans to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into the facility and make it something both he and the city are proud of, he made yet another unique commitment before the Council last week.
“We were asked about a ‘commitment of compassion’ where we would agree to provide medicine to those who can’t afford it free of charge,” said Smith. “We will be doing that here in Lynn and if patients can not afford it they will have it without cost.”
Smith added that his client has also tapped architect Peter Quinn to design the facility. Quinn has designed two out of the 23 medical marijuana dispensaries that have opened thus far in the Commonwealth.
Ward Six Councilor Peter Capano said he has met with Rothenberg’s team and has no question about his commitment and generosity to the City of Lynn. However, Capano made the motion to grant the special permit with the proviso that the Host Community Agreement is signed first.
The Council took the same action back in July and voted unanimously to grant a special permit to Newton-based Mass Patient Foundation Inc. (MPF) to site a medical marijuana dispensary at 487-491 Lynnway. MPF must first ink a Host Community Agreement before the permit is issued.