Theory CEO sees big financial gains for Great Barrington after recreational sales start

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GREAT BARRINGTON — The town stands to gain hundreds of thousands of dollars once Theory Wellness starts selling recreational marijuana, according to the CEO of the company.

At a community meeting Tuesday, Brandon Pollock laid out the potential benefit his expanded business would bring to the town once retail sales begin. About 15 people attended the informational meeting, at which Theory presented its plans and answered questions about the expanding business.

Theory Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary on Stockbridge Road, is applying for a retail license from the state to sell marijuana for recreational use. While retail sales are expected to begin as early as next month, Pollock said Theory does not expect to get its license until later in the summer.

Through the host agreement that Theory Wellness is establishing with Great Barrington, Pollock said the town will receive 3 percent of the company's annual revenue. With projected annual sales of $6 million to $8 million, the town stands to get $180,000 to $240,000 per year from Theory Wellness.

But that's not all. Great Barrington approved an optional 3 percent local tax on recreational marijuana sales, and Theory Wellness has agreed to donate $10,000 a year to a Great Barrington nonprofit.

"The host agreement, which we should have soon, gives 3 percent of our revenue to the town to mitigate adverse effects" of the retail marijuana shop, Pollock said.

Residents at the meeting expressed concern about an increase in traffic caused by the shop selling recreational marijuana. Noting that Stockbridge Road already is a busy street, Pollock said traffic is a concern for the company as well.

Theory Wellness added 25 more parking spots to its lot, for a total of 45 parking spots. He also said that, if needed, Theory Wellness would work with the town to put a police officer there to direct traffic during peak times.

"Having more cars there could cause congestion," Pollock said. "We would work with a police traffic detail, if necessary. The last thing we want to do is inconvenience the other businesses already there."

If Theory Wellness' application for a retail marijuana license is successful, Pollock said, the store will hire 18 to 20 new employees — it's a process that has begun — most of them as full-time.

Theory Wellness would continue to be a medical marijuana dispensary in addition to a retail cannabis store. Pollock said there would be separate checkout lines for medical and retail customers.

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini on Twitter, and 413-629-4621.


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