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Officials ‘impressed’ by Pot Cultivator Eyeing Dracut

December 24, 2018

DRACUT - Selectmen and Town Manager Jim Duggan last week visited a medical-marijuana company that has an exclusive distribution agreement with GreenStar Herbals, a recreational-marijuana retailer hoping to open in Dracut.

“It went fantastic. Very impressive operation,” Duggan said of the visit to Sanctuary Medicinals in Littleton. “It’s tens of millions of dollars of an investment that dictates the fact that they are extremely thorough and knowledgeable of the cannabis industry. Just a very impressive operation.”

Duggan said all selectmen but Alison Hughes attended the site visit, which was organized by GreenStar Herbals’ attorney, Joe Clermont. Hughes on Wednesday said she was unable to attend due to her work schedule.

Owned by Boxboro resident Tom E. Morey, GreenStar Herbals is eyeing a nondescript location at 76 Pleasant St., and is expected to move forward if granted a special permit from the Board of Selectmen.

“We’re in the process of doing that right now,” Morey said Wednesday. “We submitted all our applications to the state, and we’re working on the special-permit process right now.”

Clermont last week said a site plan is currently being prepared for the application that would include the site, parking and other aspects.

Duggan said the application could go before selectmen as early as their next meeting as this week.

GreenStar Herbals was the first marijuana retailer to hold a community outreach meeting in Dracut, which is required by state law. About a dozen people attended the October meeting, during which Morey assured them he will be a hands-on operator.

“We’re going to work hard. We’re going to have a professional operation,” Morey said at the time. “It’s more going to be a high-end, boutique-style (facility). That’s what we envision.”

Morey, who was also present during the site visit, said he thinks it was an eye-opener for officials to see the complexity of the cultivation site in Littleton. The business he’s proposing in Dracut would sell packaged products.

“How it’s set up down there, it’s a real complex cultivation site where it’s just not a typical grow house,” Morey said. “It’s almost like a factory.”

Selectmen Chairman Jesse Forcier said it was a good trip.

“I was very impressed with the facility,” he said. “The seriousness with which they take security, packaging and transportation was very reassuring.”

Selectmen Tony Archinski and Joseph DiRocco both said they are impressed by what they saw.

“I was extremely impressed with the science of it all,” Archinski said. “The process was extremely detailed, and they brought us from seed to sale and we saw the whole process from the genetics room where they actually decide what strains of marijuana they’re going to grow, into the grow rooms, and then we also visited the kitchen where they make the edibles.”

Archinski said he voted against the legalization of marijuana but understands that the public has spoken. He added that the town should welcome businesses.

“I didn’t vote to support it to begin with,” DiRocco said. “That’s no big secret. But it’s legal now. Hopefully, we can get all of our safety concerns into place. The company itself seems very professional. They seem to be doing it the right way, let’s put it that way.”

Selectman Tami Dristiliaris did not respond to a request for comment.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is acastillo@lowellsun.com .

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