Grow, Gift, Repair

A nice primer on HCAs in Hampshire County

When getting started on the agreements, which are needed before a company can seek a state license to sell marijuana, Narkewicz said the city reached out to the Massachusetts Municipal Association to see if it could provide copies of other host community agreements. This helped city officials to develop the boiler-plate language for Northampton.

“I believe I’m comfortable with ours and believe it fits within the legal framework of the adult-use law,” Narkewicz said.

All the agreements signed in Northampton require $10,000 to go toward education and prevention programs, with only Bodelles Edibles, LLC, a microbusiness, to provide just half that amount, a figure that would be mandated to go higher if it exceed the limits of this model.

In Easthampton, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle has executed five agreements using input from the Cannabis Control Commission, the Department of Revenue and the Massachusetts Municipal Association, she said. But unlike Northampton, there are a variety of terms and conditions in place in the agreements, in addition to 3-percent community impact fee.

For INSA, the recreational marijuana retailer that opened in the city on Saturday, a $10,000 payment to the city was required within seven days of the April 24, 2018 signing of the agreement, though there is no language requiring money go explicitly for marijuana education and prevention, according to the documents.

For other companies, like Apical, Inc., Herbology and Holistic Industries, the agreements require a year one community impact payment of at least $75,000, or 3-percent of gross sales, whichever is larger. LaChapelle said there are reasons for these payments.

“We went back and forth about the amount of payments and how they come in,” LaChapelle said. “Our position was impact fees should be more intense in the first couple of years.”

Holistic Industries’ agreement also requires $10,000 for marijuana education and prevention, while Apical’s outlines charitable donations it will make, including $2,500 to the Emily Williston Memorial Library, $2,500 for city schools and $2,500 for public safety programs, with another $2,500 for a drug abuse program if there is a measured increase in addiction among teenagers.