A long-awaited public meeting on Latitude 42’s controversial proposal to repurpose the former aquarium building at 120 Nantasket Ave. into a medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation and research facility is set for Wednesday, April 14. This forum will be an opportunity for residents, town department officials, and others to weigh in.
Town Counsel James Lampke suggested holding at least an initial public meeting “to get a sense of what some of the issues are” before the Board of Selectmen decides whether to engage consultants as part of the review process.
According to Lampke, town officials had suggested a March 24 public meeting for the applicant to make a presentation “and to start the public dialogue.” However, not all members of the Latitude 42 team were available that evening, so the April 14 date was agreed on by the selectmen this week.
The board also agreed to extend all the dates related to various aspects of the Latitude 42 review process under the board’s Rules and Regulations for Consideration of Requests for Host Community Agreements, as adopted last September and pertaining to medical marijuana facility proposals that come before the town, in part to allow ample time for public meetings. These dates relate to possibly hiring expert consultants, consultation with other town boards, and other considerations.
The step of developing those rules and regulations was taken to ensure any such projects are properly vetted and in the best interests of the community.
The selectmen recently determined that the lengthy Latitude 42 application is complete, that all the required information has been provided. However, that decision was not based on the quality of the application or the content of the information provided but whether the application is consistent with the town’s rules and regulations, Jennifer Constable, chairwoman of the board, had explained earlier. (The application is posted on the town website.)
There are three steps in the review process: submission and evaluation of the completeness of the application; the evaluation phase for the proposal; and the decision-making phase, when the board decides whether or not to approve the application.
The first, already-approved medical marijuana dispensary in Hull – Alternative Compassion Services, located at the former Java Jungle site at 175 George Washington Blvd. – does not include cultivation. Its opening date is not yet known.
The forum will be posted in the town meetings calendar at town.hull.ma.us.