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Rockland gives green light to a fourth marijuana business

Cresco Labs is the first marijuana company with local permission to open in Rockland, and plans to be ready for customers at a Sunnyside retail shop like this one by the end of 2021.
Cresco Labs is the first marijuana company with local permission to open in Rockland, and plans to be ready for customers at a Sunnyside retail shop like this one by the end of 2021.Cresco Labs (Custom credit)

The town of Rockland has approved its fourth marijuana business, a medical and recreational outlet on Hingham Street that local officials anticipate will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town.

Under host agreements, marijuana businesses give a portion of their sale proceeds to the community where they are located.

Rockland Town Administrator Douglas Lapp estimates that each of the four marijuana establishments opening in town will generate between $100,000 to $500,000 annually. In addition, the town will receive a “significant amount in sales tax revenue,” he said.

“Like every other community in the Commonwealth, our budget is in a very difficult spot due to the effect of COVID-19 on the economy,” he said. “Our preliminary projection for next year’s budget is a deficit, so certainly this type of revenue will be meaningful and a benefit to the town.”

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He said Rockland made a conscious decision to welcome marijuana businesses when they became legal in Massachusetts. Unlike some other communities, Rockland did not place a cap on the number of marijuana businesses it would allow or attempt to ban recreational dispensaries, he said.

“We make sure all concerns are addressed, and, assuming they are professional organizations that can abide by all the various conditions and run a safe and efficient business, the town is open for business,” he said.

The Rockland Zoning Board of Appeals approved a special permit for the most recent applicant in mid-December.

Cresco Labs plans to open a 5,000-square-foot store in a new building — next to a Dunkin’ Donuts on Hingham Street — by the end of a next year, according to company spokesman Jason Erkes. He said the shop would sell both medical and recreational marijuana products under the Sunnyside name.

The Chicago-based company operates about 20 dispensaries around the country, including one in Fall River, he said.

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Although four marijuana businesses have local approval to operate in Rockland, so far only one has opened to the public, Lapp said.

CannaVana opened last summer at 256 Weymouth St., and sells recreational marijuana.

Health Circle plans to provide medical and adult-use marijuana, and cultivate and process the product, at 21 Commerce Road, according to documents filed with the state.

Two Buds plans to cultivate and sell recreational marijuana at 53 Air Station Industrial Park.

Lapp said he receives three or four inquiries every month from marijuana companies interested in coming to Rockland, including some with delivery-only models.

“I feel like the town of Rockland has a really good process in place,” he said. “We are very business-friendly and very efficient in how we can move things forward, but we make sure all the appropriate boards and abutters have their concerns aired and addressed.”

Lapp said that security has been very tight at the one marijuana business that is open, and “we have not had any problems.”

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.