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MILTON

Marijuana dispensary proposed for historic Milton building

A rendering of the proposed medical marijuana dispensary at 98 Adams St. in Milton.
A rendering of the proposed medical marijuana dispensary at 98 Adams St. in Milton.(New England Patient Network Inc)

The historic Swift Hat Shop in Milton, the town’s oldest commercial building, is being targeted for a medical marijuana facility.

New England Patient Network of Boston says it would like to renovate the vacant and dilapidated wooden structure, which was built around 1790 for Captain John Swift’s beaver hat business, and open a medical marijuana dispensary.

The company’s executive officer, Julius Sokol, said his firm has an option to lease the space and the project would cost an estimated $600,000.

“Our goal is to restore the Swift Hat Shop at 98 Adams Street to the beautiful building it once was and provide a safe and comforting place for the patients of the Commonwealth to obtain this much-needed treatment option,” Sokol said in an e-mail.

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“We are cognizant of the fact that this is a polarizing issue,” he said. “At the same time, we are confident that if the residents and officials of Milton learn the facts about the siting and operation of a medical use marijuana facility in Massachusetts, they will realize that this is a good thing for Milton [and] the surrounding economy, Milton’s budget, local businesses, and most importantly the sick people in and around Milton who desperately need help.”

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires medical marijuana facilities to get a letter of support or non-opposition from a community’s governing board. Milton selectmen held a public hearing on the proposal on Dec. 6 and continued discussion to Jan. 3, according to Planning Director William Clark, who said there was considerable opposition expressed to the location.

The Swift Hat House is in Milton’s historic business district on the waterfront. The site meets all zoning requirements for a medical marijuana business, Clark said.

The building’s owner has tried in the past to get permission to demolish the little red building, but ran into opposition from the town’s Historic Commission.

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