North Attleboro, Massachusetts and Green Leaf Health Inc. have reached a “host community agreement” that will see it pay 3 percent of its gross annual sales to the town and donate between $25,000 and $50,000 a year to local charities, the Sun Chronicle reports. The agreement, which also requires full-time employees to perform 150 hours of community service annually, is required under the state’s recreational cannabis law for businesses to open adult-use dispensaries in municipalities.
The five-year agreement requires the company to pay all of its own construction, water and sewer fees and will be renegotiated when there are six months left in the deal. Green Leaf is the first company to strike a deal to sell adult-use cannabis in North Attleboro but the deal with the community does not allow it to cultivate crops at the site.
In all, 13 companies had applied to sell legal cannabis products in North Attleboro, the report says, and six – including Green Leaf – were approved for further consideration. The remaining five firms have not yet reached a host agreement with the city.
The host agreements required by the state have come under increasing fire since the September arrest of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who allegedly extorted at least four cannabis business operators by soliciting $250,000 each from them in exchange for “non-opposition” letters from his office. Correia is said to have illegally generated at least $600,000 from the scheme, as well as alleged arrangements for a future cut in some of the companies’ cannabis sales.
The agreements, which Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman has admitted “give a disproportionate advantage to bigger companies that can afford to throw in a fire truck on top of their 3 percent,” have also led to an investigation by the Springfield City Council into whether donations by a cannabis company were a bribe to the mayor’s office and the convening of a grand jury by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling on potential bribes.
Lelling has subpoenaed the municipalities of Eastham, Great Barrington, Leicester, Newton, Northampton, and Uxbridge over their host community agreements with cannabis firms.
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