City Councilors have approved a special permit for a second marijuana business in the city. At last week’s City Council meeting Natural Selections was approved to open a recreational pot shop at 193 Oxford St., next to the popular Blue Ox restaurant and it will be sharing its business with Bianchi’s Pizza.
Now Natural Selections has to develop a host agreement with the city, part of which could include a $100,000 payment to the city and agreements for providing the city with 6 percent annual gross revenues and a 3 percent local tax option. After this is done the proposal goes to the Massachusetts Cannibis Commission.
Aidan O’Donovan, CEO of Brighton Organics LLC with the trade name Natural Selections, said it was a streamlined process working with the city. He began working in the marijuana industry for eight years ago in Colorado where for the past four years he owned and operated a dispensery in North Glen, Colo.
“As we found in the 1920s regulation works better that prohibition,” O’Donovan said as he gave a Powerpoint presentation in front of the City Council.
He explained that $750,000 will be put into the building to revamp it. The shop will have the feel of a high-end jewelry store or well-furnished doctor’s office, he said. Dan Linskey, a security expert is working with O”Donovan.
“We feel the Greater Lynn area is unservered,” O’Donovan said of the eight dispenseries coming to Lynn.
One facility is currently operational. Apothca on the Lynnway, is a medical marijuana facility, which is expected offer recreational marijuana in March.
Cultivation site is in Fitchburg and is under construction
“We’re extremely confident this will lead to over $500,000 in payments (to the city) per year,” O’Donovan said.
Matt O’Neill, owner of the Blue Ox and the building at 193 Oxford St., spoke in favor of his new neighbor.
“I think it will add value to the town, the building needs a lot of revitalization. As we see these things pop up I think the impact will be lessened” O’Neill said.
Also lending support was EDIC head James Cowdell, noting the financial resources Natural Selections has. He checked up on them in Colorado and said there was nothing but positive news to report.
“The building they are going in to has been vacant for 15-17 years,” Cowdell said. “This will bring a lot of money in for the city of Lynn.”
Rev. Kurt Lange of the East Coast International Church, and Ward 4 Councilor Richard Colucci oppose the shop.
“To rest our financial hopes and dreams on the sale of drugs to our citizens, tThis just seems fundamentally flawed,” Colucci said. “I’m concerned about all of them, not just this one.”