WARE – Selectmen at Tuesday’s meeting voted 3-2 to authorize the town manager to begin negotiations with Curaleaf Massachusetts Inc., which wants to sell recreational marijuana at a site on Route 32.
Curaleaf told the board they plan to lease a storefront at 124 West St. The location is a strip mall with about 100 parking spaces. A pizza parlor, Chinese restaurant and auto parts store are among the business within the mall, located next to Taco Bell and across the street from a McDonald’s restaurant.
Curaleaf was chosen over two other businesses seeking the town’s second of two retail marijuana agreements.
Should the town and Curaleaf sign a host community agreement – a contract that requires the company to pay an agreed amount of money to the municipality as a condition to operate – the business would then be able to seek final approval from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
The company said that if the regulatory process goes according to plan, it plans to begin selling marijuana in Ware by springtime.
“Our goal is to open by early spring at 124 West St., assuming our application gets approved by the CCC,” Patrik Jonsson, president of Curaleaf Massachusetts, said in an interview after the selectmen voted.
Selectman Tracy Opalinski made the motion for the town to begin negotiations with Curaleaf. The motion was seconded by Alan Whitney. Michael Fountain was the third vote.
Selectmen Chairman John Carroll, who has consistently voted against all measures in favor of siting any marijuana establishment in the community, voted no.
Keith Kruckas also voted no.
During the discussion, Kruckas accused Opalinski of bias in favor of Curaleaf. Opalinski dismissed the allegation as nonsense.
Herbal Pathways LLC and NewCann Group LLC were the other companies vying to sell marijuana in town at Tuesday’s meeting. No one on the board nominated either.