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Two marijuana-shop proposals get go-ahead

selectboard 052019

UPDATED, May 22: The Select Board held hearings Monday, May 20, on four applications for marijuana establishments in Arlington. They are:

  • Eskar LLC, 23 Broadway, in a former bank, across from St. Paul's Cemetery;
  • Calyx Peak of Ma. Inc., 1215 Mass. Ave., the former location for Nicola Pizza;
  • Metro Harvest Inc., 1306 – 1308 Mass. Ave., in a former cleaners; and
  • Apothca Inc., 1386 Mass. Ave., the current location of Swifty Printing. Apothca plans to move its current medical-marijuana shop from 11 Water St.

In a meeting that lasted nearly until midnight, the board approved Apothca and Eskar. Apothca was chosen for the Heights because the town already has an agreement with it via the Water Street medical marijuana outlet.

Apothca attorney Phillip Silverman said, “They’re an experienced operator already in town, so there’s no need to worry about how they’ll operate. The advent of medical marijuana has worked very well.”

In Mass. since 2018

“Apothca also has a competitive advantage in terms of pricing. Massachusetts has a tremendous supply shortage, and lots of retailers are buying wholesale. Apothca is a premiere cultivator here in Massachusetts, so it does not have to pay wholesale prices like other retailers. These advantages will be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices,” said Silverman.

Apothca President Joseph Lekach added, “We’ve been operating in Massachusetts since April 2018, and have an in-state cultivation campus. Our inspections with cannabis control commission have done very well. We currently operate a recreational dispensary in Lynn, and expect to open another location in Jamaica plain by year-end.”

Select Board member John Hurd said, “Apothca has an established structure, and has already been operating in town. Their building [at 1386 Mass. Ave., current location of Arlington Swifty Printing] is well suited for this purpose, with parking in back, providing more flow than the other two proposed Heights locations.

A memo from Jennifer Raitt, director of Planning and Community Development, on behalf of the town’s Marijuana Study Group, states, “There is on-street parking available in the immediate area of the property, more so than along other blocks in Arlington Heights. Off-street parking can accommodate queuing onsite and would not disrupt pedestrian activity on the sidewalk.”

Only one store may be situated in Heights because of a 2,000-foot limit between outlets. Eskar plans to be in East Arlington, near the Somerville line.

See background reports

For more information, see a variety of reports >>  | For the full agenda >>

The process, criteria and application for a host community agreement are at arlingtonma.gov/selectboard 

After reviewing applications, applicants will have the opportunity to make presentations at an open meeting of the Select Board.

Town Counsel Doug Heim told YourArlington in April that four potential applicants had approached the town. The town permits three licenses each for medical- and recreational-marijuana shops. 

Two applicants for marijuana outlets in Arlington Heights came before the Select Board in March. A representative affiliated with Northeastern Alternatives, which offers medical and recreational marijuana in Fall River, told the board on March 11 that he and a partner seek to establish a recreational-marijuana shop at 1306-1308 Mass. Ave., Heights, the former Embassy Cleaners.

That is about 1 1/2 blocks from Swifty Printing, where Apothca would like to move its 11 Water St. medical-marijuana dispensary, open since October, and also open a recreational-pot shop, aiming to be the town's first.

Applicants are strongly advised to read the Select Board’s Host Community Agreement Process & Criteria Policy before completing their applications. 


March 12, 2019: Second marijuana applicant seeks Heights outlet
March 9, 2019: Plan would put town's first recreational-marijuana shop in Heights
Dec. 6, 2018: Special Town Meeting supports 3 recreational-marijuana stores

This news announcement was published Saturday, April 20, 2019 and updated May 22,  to add quotations. YourArlington freelancer Susan Gilbert contributed to this report.

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