Silver Therapeutics in Williamstown gets provisional retail pot license from state cannabis board

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This story has been updated to correct the number of retail marijuana shops that have opened in Massachusetts. 

WILLIAMSTOWN — Silver Therapeutics has received its provisional license from the state Cannabis Control Commission to operate a retail marijuana shop planned in the Colonial Plaza shopping center on Main Street.

A cultivation facility for Silver Therapeutics at 158 Gov. Dukakis Drive in Orange also received a provisional license.

According to Brendan McKee, partner and chief financial officer of Silver Therapeutics, the final license could follow as early as January, meaning they could open for business at 238 Main St. two to four weeks later.

"We would certainly love to be open in February," McKee said. "This is a huge milestone, and as excited as we are, we know there is still a lot of work ahead."

The provisional license was granted Dec. 13. No other retail marijuana shop planned for the Northern Berkshires is as close to a final opening date.

Three marijuana shops have already opened in Massachusetts  — in Leicester, Northampton and Salem. Two other stores have been cleared to open in Berkshire County — one in Pittsfield and another in Great Barrington — and are expected to start sales within weeks.

McKee said company officials expect to see lines forming when the Williamstown shop finally opens for business. "We're doing everything we can digitally to further expedite the process as positively and as efficiently as possible," he said.

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He said there will be a website where folks can submit pre-orders that will be ready for pick-up when they arrive. Provisions will also be made to direct the queue of customers to minimize the impact on neighboring businesses. And they are working with Williamstown police on the need for traffic mitigation.

"We're working on all that now," McKee said.

He said construction of the interior of the store is nearly done, with just a few final touches left.

For the cultivation facility in Orange, architects are working on the design now.

Silver Therapeutics has a wholesale supplier lined up and is hiring staff for the store, seeking local employees first. State health officials will inspect several aspects of the operation to confirm compliance with several requirements before a final license is issued.

The company has already agreed to the Host Community Agreement (HCA), which defines what is required of the shop owner in regards to local fees and tax payments.

The HCA includes provisions for a local option tax of 3 percent of gross sales and another 3 percent fee to defer costs incurred by having the business in town. State sales tax of 14 percent will bring the total taxation amount to 20 percent.

The retail agreement also calls for an annual donation of $5,000 for a nonprofit that will use the funds for drug education, prevention and treatment. There are also provisions in the retail agreement that encourage the hiring of local workers and the use of local vendors as much as possible. The HCA also requires that the local retail shop prohibits on-site use of marijuana.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.


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