LYNN — City Councilors approved a recreational pot shop on Western Avenue Tuesday night, but made it clear the owners should not “drag their feet” with opening.
The council also approved a second pot shop downtown on Mount Vernon Street, which would be on the IronBound property beneath the commuter rail.
City Councilor-at-Large Brian LaPierre issued the warning to representatives of Good Chemistry of Massachusetts, not based on the applicant, but the council’s experience with a medical marijuana clinic that was approved to operate two years ago on the same street and still has not opened.
Old World Remedies, of Marblehead, was issued approval to open at 953 Western Ave. and is expected to seek a special permit to add a recreational component to its facility.
LaPierre said he was troubled that nothing had been done at that site, which he hoped would not be the prospect of the proposal approved on Tuesday.
He said he was making the connection that Old World Remedies and Good Chemistry have the same legal representation, referring to James Smith, a founding partner at the Boston-based Smith, Costello & Crawford.
“I just want Attorney Smith and his team to move forward in a very diligent and respectful manner to the city,” LaPierre said. “I don’t want them to get their special permit and get the impression that they’re able to drag their feet for a year-plus before doing anything with regard to their locations.”
If something doesn’t happen soon with the initial site, Ward 2 Councilor Rick Starbard suggested bringing Old World Remedies before the council to revisit their medical and ultimately recreational license.
Dom Slowey, a spokesman for Good Chemistry, said the company had no comment on LaPierre’s remarks, “as we have no connection to the other dispensary company.”
With approval of its special permit, the next step is for Good Chemistry to sign a host agreement with the city. Under the agreement, the Massachusetts-based company would be required to provide the city with 6 percent of annual gross revenues, when factoring in the local option tax Lynn officials passed two years ago.
Good Chemistry would open at 696 Western Ave. at the former Tony the Florist site, but there’s no specific timeline for opening. The company still needs approval from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.
“We appreciate the vote of confidence from the City Council,” said Matthew Huron, Good Chemistry CEO, in an emailed statement. “This is the initial step as Good Chemistry works to open a cannabis dispensary that will serve adult-use customers in Lynn at 696 Western Ave. We appreciate the welcome we’ve received from the Lynn community during this process.”
The company has a medical marijuana location open in Worcester and a cultivation site in Bellingham, which would provide their products. The company’s headquarters is in Denver and Good Chemistry operates three stores in Colorado.
Joe Ciota, whose family owned Tony the Florist for more than 80 years, said the Ciotas were approached by Good Chemistry. He felt the pot shop would be a good use for the property and great for the city.
The other shop approved by the council was a proposal from Tree Market LLC to open at 3 Mount Vernon St. The site would encompass 2,650 square feet, with 1,600 square feet used for the retail store.
An attorney for the company, Peter D’Agostino, of Lynch Associates, Inc., has said Tree Market plans to invest $300,000 for the buildout of the space. The company has engaged in letters of intent with multiple cultivators, according to the law firm’s senior director of public affairs, Matthew McKenna.
With the approval, Tree Market LLC would next sign a host agreement with the city, which would require the company to provide Lynn with 6 percent of its annual gross revenues.
“We are grateful to the Lynn City Council for approving our special permit,” said Eli Volynsky, CEO of Tree Market, LLC, in an emailed statement. “We look forward to finalizing our host community agreement with Mayor (Thomas M.) McGee and his team and we are excited about our future in downtown Lynn. We’ll continue with the licensing, construction and community outreach process throughout the summer and anticipate an opening in late summer or early fall.”
The city’s first medical marijuana shop, Apothca, opened on the Lynnway in November. Plans are for the company to open its recreational component early this year pending state approval.
The council has also approved a pot shop from Natural Selections, which plans to open at 193 Oxford St. If Old World Remedies is issued a recreational license, there would be three of eight licenses available in the city.