Selectmen Put Pot Shop Move on Hold
TYNGSBORO -- The Board of Selectmen recently tabled a request from the Royalty Group to move its planned retail marijuana establishment from one lot on Middlesex Road to another nearby lot.
Selectmen delayed the request so that the police and fire officials would have a chance to evaluate the proposed change.
The board intends to vote on the request at its March 25 meeting.
The move would require a modification to the host community agreement Royalty Group signed with the town last fall. At that time, the company indicated its retail operation would be located at 405-409 Middlesex Road.
Those plans hit a roadblock because the tenant of the yellow ranch-style house at that location refused to move. Royalty Group wanted to demolish the house and build a 3,000-square-feet structure, with 2,000 square feet dedicated to the sale of marijuana. The rest of the space was intended as office and storage space.
Now, Royalty Group proposes moving into a building at 425 Middlesex Road, which Simon Raad owns and operates as Simon’s Auto Center.
The status of Simon’s Auto Center is unclear. Raad told The Sun that he could not answer questions without permission from Royalty Group. Although details of the anticipated move and a signed letter of intent were presented to selectmen at the board’s March 11 meeting, Raad said the matter is not public and “just between us” (Raad and Royalty Group).
Royalty Group’s CEO Andrea Pearce acknowledged that the new location would be more visible than the original location. Selectman David Robson homed in on that issue. “The original location was going to be discreet. This location is wide open and not discreet at all.”
Other companies had looked at this site, but the Marijuana Subcommittee had rejected those proposals. The subcommittee instead preferred the 405-409 address because it would result in the clean up of blighted property and the addition of a new commercial property to the tax rolls.
According to Robson, Simon’s Auto Center would close and there would be no benefit to the town in terms of taxes.
Pearce told selectmen that one reason for the requested change to the HCA is to get the business off the ground more quickly than if they had to start over. She wants to amend the HCA before the state’s Cannabis Control Commission starts its review process. “We want to keep our place in the queue.”
Town Manager Matthew Hanson agreed that starting over would significantly delay time-to-market.
She told the board that Royalty Group still has a letter of intent in place for the 405-409 address and could potentially still open there.
Royalty Group’s Tyngsboro plans also include a 15,000-square-foot indoor cultivation facility, 7 Middlesex Road -- the former site of Top Line Granite, with a 4,800-square-feet manufacturing and processing facility at 24 Old Tyngs Road. The organization has expansion intentions within two years. They would also a 5-acre hemp farm with pans to expand to 10 acres in two years.