Cannabis manufacturer cleared to negotiate lease, host community agreement
Aspen Blue Cultures is now one step closer to securing a host community agreement and lease to use the steel building on the Tremont Nail Factory property to manufacture and package a variety of cannabis products.
The Board of Selectmen voted Feb. 2 to authorize the negotiation of both a host community agreement and a lease for the Tremont Nail Factory building at 8 Elm Street in Wareham.
This is not the first time a cannabis manufacturing company has expressed interest in the Tremont Nail Factory steel building. Organa Brands, now a part of international cannabis company Slang Worldwide, first expressed interest in the town-owned property in the summer of 2018.
Organa Brands negotiated a host community agreement and lease and completed $300,000 in renovations to the steel building. The agreement negotiated between the town and the company included $184,000 in rent each year and up to $300,000 in income for the town, depending on the profits earned by the company.
Town officials had planned on using the rent money from Organa Brands to fund the rehabilitation of the rest of the Tremont Nail Factory complex. However, the company was set to begin paying rent when it received a license from the state, which never happened.
“We had some disappointment a year ago when Organa Brands [...] decided not to pursue licensing in the state of Massachusetts for their marijuana products production facility,” said Selectman Peter Teitelbaum. “But we do have, apparently, another live one on the line.”
Director of Planning Ken Buckland explained that Aspen Blue, like Organa Brands, hopes to have a production facility at the Tremont Nail property. They would pay rent, pay an impact fee and pay taxes on the property, he said.
“There’s a financial benefit to the town as a result of that,” Buckland said.
At a Nov. 19 Wareham Redevelopment Authority meeting, Aspen Blue’s president and CEO Patrick Casey said the steel building in Wareham would provide a central manufacturing location. The Aspen Blue representatives at that meeting also said their plans would utilize the entire steel building.
The renovations completed by Organa Brands include a completely new skin, roof, windows, doors, and wiring. Because the renovations are unfinished, the future occupant will be able to customize the interior to suit.
The board’s vote approves only the negotiation of the host community agreement and lease. The agreement and lease will have to come up for a vote again once they’re finalized.