LYNN — Marijuana could soon be growing in Lynn.
Wicked Frosty Farms, a Massachusetts-based company, plans to open a small-scale recreational, or adult-use, marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility at 69 Bennett St.
Perry Bailes, CEO and founder of Wicked Frosty Farms, said the company is pursuing a microbusiness license from the Cannabis Control Commission and a special permit from the Lynn City Council in order to operate.
It’s not clear when Wicked Frosty Farms would appear before the City Council, but according to a correspondence between an attorney for the company and city officials, it could be next month.
The company would also need to sign a host agreement with the city, which would outline what percentage of annual gross profits the city would receive from the facility. According to James Lamanna, the city’s attorney, the state statute is silent as to the amount municipalities receive from marijuana cultivators.
“Any money received by (the) city would have to reasonably relate to negative effects expected to be caused by the facility,” Lamanna said.
Bailes said they plan to start small, as they only have 5,000 square feet of space, and then they hope to grow and relinquish their license.
“We’re not a multi-million dollar conglomerate from the West Coast coming into the area. We’re little guys, a plucky start-up,” said Bailes. “We’re really excited about the entire operation.”
Bailes said city officials originally approached the company about starting the business and helped them find a place in Lynn to grow.
The marijuana would be grown on the second floor of the building, a former machine shop, and the only clients the company would sell to would be adult recreational, or adult retailers, rather than medical.
Ward 2 City Councilor Richard Starbard said there was a neighborhood meeting held at the Lynn Police station about six weeks ago with the company, which he attended to hear what the concerns were from Ward 6 residents.
Starbard said neighbors didn’t seem to have a problem with the potential facility once their concerns about odor and security were addressed. But he said odor could still be a big issue.
But Bailes said the odor wouldn’t be a concern, because there are plans to use a reverse pressure air system to suppress a lot of the smell coming from the exterior of the building. He said smell is more of an issue with large scale grows.
“If we do it right, no one will even know we’re there,” Bailes said. “We’re trying to convince and hopefully let the neighborhood know as a small business we’re going to be good neighbors.”
The company is doing major renovations to the facility, which Bailes estimates at $200,000 to $250,000.
Bailes said he became interested in the marijuana cultivation industry after his father became sick with leukemia and he watched him suffer from it, before eventually succumbing to the cancer about eight years ago.
Bailes would describe his former self as a “square,” when talking about his attitude toward marijuana. He followed his father’s footsteps into the military and was raised in the 1980s during the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) movement, and it wasn’t until his father got sick that he began educating himself about cannabis.
As he educated himself, Bailes said the stigma of marijuana removed itself from his mind, as he saw the drug provided his father with some relief from depression, anxiety and physical pain during his illness.
Bailes, a Georgia native and Salem resident for the past decade, said the company believes the Commonwealth is uniquely qualified to help small businesses.
“We’re a small business,” Bailes said. “We’re local guys … I think we’re the kind of people you want doing this in your town.”
Ward 6 City Councilor Peter Capano could not be reached for comment in time for the Item deadline.