NORTH ATTLEBORO — Two applicants for marijuana licenses are asking the town to reopen the process, saying they were treated unfairly.
Attorney David Manoogian, representing Elevation Naturals, and Josh DeSousa, of Green Tree House, told selectmen Thursday the process of selecting six companies out of 13 applicants was flawed.
Manoogian said town hall staff made the selections without giving applicants an opportunity to go before them and make their case for approval.
He said the decisions were made privately, “behind closed doors.”
His client should have had an opportunity to make a presentation to staffers in a public meeting.
“I think this process was ill conceived, but not with malice,” he said.
Manoogian asked selectmen to have the new government that takes over July 1 reopen the process for his client’s proposed business at 575 East Washington St.
The applicants did hold community-impact meetings, which the public was invited to, but were not included in the meetings among town staffers.
DeSousa said his application for a retail marijuana license was denied and he was told it was because the location he chose was in an industrial park that is not a place for retail businesses.
But, he said the industrial park was on the map outlining areas where a marijuana business could be located. He wants to set up shop at 81 John Dietsch Blvd.
He also said a church and dance studio that objected to his application are more than 1,000 feet away from his proposed location.
DeSousa said selectmen should “reset the process.”
Town officials said they were reluctant to discuss the matter because it could become a legal issue.
Michael Gallagher, the town administrator, and selectmen Chairman Michael Lennox said Friday the matter is being referred to the town’s lawyer.
Gallagher said the staffers who reviewed the applications included personnel from the health, planning, fire and police departments, as well as the selectmen’s office.
He also said applicants who have been approved so far must negotiate a “host community agreement” with the town, go back to the state Cannabis Control Commission, and then get final approval from the town.
The six applicants who were approved to move forward in the approval process and their proposed locations are:
Green Leaf Health, 91 George Leven Drive; Hope Heal Health, 6 Whipple St., Pure Roots, 80 East Washington St.; True Nature, 760 East Washington St.; Holland Brands, 1320 South Washington St.; and Trichome, 23-31 Chestnut St.