Ironstone Express Inc., proposed by its president, Barry Desruisseaux, who is also vice chairman of the Planning Board, is the fourth retail marijuana business that selectmen have voted to sign a host community agreement with. The town has capped the number of retail pot shops at three, however, and one, Caroline’s Cannabis, has opened for business. The other two are pending in the state licensing process.
Selectmen expressed a desire to “let the market sort it out” and place an article on fall town meeting warrant, or through special town meeting or citizens’ petition earlier, that would raise the retail marijuana cap.
Mr. Desruisseaux said the express, drive-in facility would be in what is now a car wash at 454 Quaker Highway.
The idea came to him, he said, from concern over people with disabilities having to wait in long lines to get into traditional marijuana retailers, and from a privacy perspective.
“It’s none of your business what I do,” he said, noting that there still is stigma about purchasing marijuana. “Everyone stays in their vehicle. It’s a one-on-one transaction,” in his proposed store.
A few drive-in marijuana retailers have opened in Colorado and elsewhere, but not in Massachusetts, Mr. Desruisseaux said.
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Ironstone Express would not be the kind of retailer with 48 different strains of marijuana, he added. “This is something where people can come in, get what they need and get out.”
Mr. Desruisseaux said he intended to sell prepackaged marijuana grown by cultivators in Uxbridge.
He has met with other town officials, including the chief of police, to discuss security, health and safety concerns. Drivers would have their license scanned before entering an order bay and then when they pick up their product down the line. No one would leave their vehicle and drivers won’t be allowed to have passengers under age 21.
Under the host agreement, Ironstone Express would pay a 3 percent community impact fee, plus the 3 percent local sales tax. The town manager was authorized to negotiate additional terms.
According to projections presented by Mr. Desruisseaux, the community impact payments, at 3 percent of gross sales, would range from $81,000 in 2019 to 96,236 in 2021.