LYNN — Downtown Lynn is quickly becoming a destination spot for companies seeking to open recreational pot shops in the city.
Two more recreational marijuana facilities are seeking to call downtown Lynn home, citing access to the commuter rail and public transportation, along with heavy foot traffic in the area.
A third company is seeking to open on Western Avenue in Ward 6, where two other recreational pot shops have already been approved to operate.
Good Chemistry, a Denver-based company seeking to open at 696 Western Ave.; New England Canna, which plans to operate at 3 Mount Vernon St.; and Full Harvest Moonz, which plans to open at 32-34 State St., had their applications approved by the city’s Recreational Cannabis Site Plan Review Committee on Tuesday night.
The companies have already been vetted by the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn). The next step is for the companies to hold a neighborhood meeting, as required by state law before submitting its special permit application to the city.
James Cowdell, EDIC/Lynn executive director, said each of the companies have the “experience and financial resources to operate.”
If their special permits are approved by the City Council, the potential retailers would sign a host agreement with the city. Under the agreement, each company given the green light to operate would be required to provide the city with 6 percent of annual gross revenues, when factoring in the local option tax Lynn officials passed last year.
The approval comes on the heels of the Recreational Cannabis Site Plan Review Committee giving the thumbs up last month to another company seeking to operate a pot shop downtown.
Aidan O’Donovan, owner of Natural Selections, has proposed opening a facility at 193 Oxford St., which would be next door to The Blue Ox, an upscale restaurant. The committee opted to move Natural Selections onto the neighborhood meeting step as well.
There are six of eight recreational marijuana licenses available in the city right now. Shops can open anywhere in the city, but can’t be near schools and must be at least 500 feet from another retail location.
Good Chemistry is seeking to open at the former Tony the Florist site on Western Avenue. The company has a medical marijuana location open in Worcester and has a cultivation site in Bellingham, the latter of which would provide their product, according to their attorney, Jim Smith.
Good Chemistry operates four marijuana stores in Colorado, three in Denver and another in Aurora. The plan would be to open three to four months after receiving potential approval from the state, according to the company’s vice-president of public affairs Meg Collins.
“We have been interested in Lynn for some time,” said Collins. “We’re very excited about that location. We know Tony the Florist and the Ciota family have been doing business in Lynn for over 80 years and we would like to continue … that history with Good Chemistry.”
New England Canna, if approved, would operate on Mount Vernon Street, which would be below the bridge near the commuter rail. The company has yet to find a cultivator, a requirement to operate, but expects that issue will fix itself through the approval process, according to their attorney, Peter D’Agostino, who doesn’t anticipate that to lead to a delay in opening.
“By the end of the year, (there’s) probably going to be four to five cultivators that we would be able to solidify those supply agreements with,” he said.
The site will encompass approximately 2,650 square feet with approximately 1,600 square feet used for the retail store. D’Agostino said the company plans to invest $300,000 for the buildout of the space.
Janet Kupris, CEO of Full Harvest Moonz, said she plans to bring a lot of the same initiatives she worked on in Rhode Island, where the company operates a marijuana dispensary, into the city of Lynn. Harvest Moonz is big on education, she said, adding that they already have a cultivator.
The company is seeking to open on State Street, where it has a $400,000 lease option agreement on the property, according to their real estate consultant, Jimmy Alex. The 10,000 square-foot building sits across from Shaw’s Supermarket.
Mike Allen, chief of security for Harvest Moonz and retired Rochester police chief, said security and safety is one of their top priorities. The building will be broken up into three levels of security and the Lynn Police Department will have real-time access to their video surveillance system.
The city has already approved another recreational marijuana shop, Newton-based Massachusetts Patient Foundation, which has been renamed Apothca and signed a host agreement with the city to operate on the Lynnway. Old World Remedies, a Marblehead company, plans to seek a recreational license as well to operate on Western Avenue.
The city’s two medical marijuana licenses, which were limited to Ward 6 by the City Council, were issued to Apothca and Old World Remedies prior to their plans to add a recreational component to their facilities.
In 2012, Massachusetts voters approved making marijuana legal for medical use and in 2016, pot for recreational use was approved at the polls.