Grow, Gift, Repair

Cape Cod HCA issues

Although the U.S. attorney’s office would not confirm nor deny any information related to those grand jury proceedings, a law firm representing several towns statewide has secured an extension of the deadline for document submission to Dec. 5.

John Giorgio, a Kopelman & Paige attorney who represents Provincetown, said the town is in the process of compiling the documents for U.S. District Court.

Provincetown has seven host agreements, according to Acting Town Manager David Gardner.

The court is looking not only for the agreements but also earlier drafts along with all written communications regarding the documents.

“The more businesses you have, the larger the volume of paperwork,” Giorgio said. “The town is working diligently to comply.” Giorgio said he assumed the extension would apply to all towns Kopelman & Paige represents.

Since recreational marijuana retailers must work out host agreements with their target communities before getting state licenses, there has been concern those agreements can become tools for communities to make exorbitant demands.

Fall River Mayor Jaisel Correia was arrested last month for allegedly extorting marijuana companies for the chance to do business in the city.

Under state law, communities may charge an annual impact fee of up to 3% of the company’s gross sales for up to five years. The fee is supposed to defray the costs towns must bear for hosting such businesses, such as more demands on their police and fire departments, and on road infrastructure.
Many towns include other charges.

Brewster, which has three host agreements, has included the impact fee as well as a $25,000 annual community benefit payment and a charitable donation of at least $15,000.

Although one Brewster official confirmed the town had received the subpoena, Town Administrator Peter Lombardi wrote in an email Monday: “At this time, we are not in a position to confirm or deny receipt of a subpoena related to these matters, let alone speak to the timeliness of any town response to such.”

In Provincetown, recreational marijuana retailers are charged the annual 3% impact fee with an additional 1% to go toward grants for local nonprofit organizations and charities. License-holders must pledge 100 hours of community service, according to Gardner.

Mashpee Town Manager Rodney Collins said that town was working on submitting the documents to the court.