NORTON — A marijuana business is looking to move to town, representing the first to express an interest here.
Solar Therapeutics, which has a venue in Somerset and soon will open one in Seekonk, has reached out to town officials but has not submitted an application for a license, Town Manager Michael Yunits said.
“They would really like to have one in Norton,” Yunits said.
Yunits told selectmen last week he toured the company’s Somerset location and came away impressed. Besides selling recreational and medicinal marijuana, there are pot growing facilities there.
The location is run on solar power.
Solar Therapeutics would like to find a visible spot in town.
Yunits said he discussed the town’s zoning for marijuana businesses with representatives of the business.
Residents at the May 2018 annual town meeting voted to restrict recreational marijuana businesses to industrial areas of town where medicinal pot can be sold. The vote was close, with many wanting recreational pot businesses to also be allowed in commercial areas.
“They said they would be interested but would rather be on a main road than an industrial park,” Yunits said.
Town officials have been preparing for such businesses, with selectmen at recent meetings reviewing a draft host community agreement that would be used to get benefits for the town such as tax revenue and donations. Police Chief Brian Clark has provided input.
In Seekonk, Solar Therapeutics is planned at 1735 Fall River Ave. (Route 6), where now-closed Supreme Coffee & Donuts had been situated across from Seekonk Speedway. It is one of two recreational pot businesses seeking to move to Fall River Avenue in Seekonk.
Seekonk selectmen have negotiated and approved host community agreements with them.
Their agreement with Solar Therapeutics calls for an impact fee of 3 percent of gross sales and an annual $50,000 donation. The town will also realize an additional 3 percent sales tax on the gross revenue.
Yunits said he is reaching out to Seekonk officials.
In November 2016, 54 percent of Norton voters supported legalizing marijuana.