Ermont Inc., which has operated a medical marijuana dispensary at 216 Ricciuti Drive in West Quincy for almost three years, wants to expand into recreational marijuana sales for adults 21 and older. Company CEO John Gates told a crowd of about two dozen people at a meeting this week that the dispensary plans to file its application with the state Cannabis Control Commission within the next week.
From there, he said he expects the review process to take about four to five months before a license is issued.
The proposal has met little opposition in Quincy, where voters overwhelmingly supported the legalization of recreational marijuana use in 2016, and nearly all of the concerns voiced at Wednesday’s meeting were related to the traffic that expanded operations at Ermont might generate. Only one person, Kathy Deady, raised concerns about the product Ermont would be selling.
“I don’t agree with recreational marijuana. It is a gateway drug for anyone who are prone to any kind of addiction, and having it in Quincy recreationally I think says to the kids in school that it’s OK,” she said. “I don’t believe in it, but I’m for it (in this case) because Ermont runs a tight ship.”
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The process of expanding from medicinal to recreational sales is much easier for dispensaries like Ermont that were already licensed and operating under the department of public health prior to the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.
As an operation in good standing, Ermont was able to apply for something called “priority application status,” which will allow it to jump to the head of the long line of 279 applicants looking for retail sales licenses.
As long as Ermont meets the license requirements laid out by the commission, there is nothing standing in the way of it expanding its business to include adult-use sales and no additional approvals by any city boards or commissions are required.
But that’s not to say there isn’t anything in it for Quincy residents. A host-community agreement, required under state law, could garner the city hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars annually. The deal allows the city to collect a 3 percent community impact fee as well as a 3 percent local tax, which would be applied on top of state taxes. There would also be a 3 percent local tax on any wholesale sales that Ermont makes to other dispensaries, for up to $200,000.