Retail marijuana shop formally proposed

Patient Centric pitches new location on Mechanic’s Street to Tisbury selectmen.



Geoff Rose, CEO of Patient Centric, wants to open an adult-use and medical marijuana store at 15 Mechanic’s St. that will be “nonintrusive to the town,” attorney Phil Silverman  told the Tisbury board of selectmen Tuesday night.

The site would operate as an appointment-only location for at least the first month, Silverman said. He described the security that would be in place, limiting access to anyone 21 and older, and said the fledgling industry is so heavily regulated that merchandise is catalogued as soon as a marijuana plant is picked.

The location would be protected by multiple cameras, would have an unarmed security guard on duty, and a panic alarm would be available to alert local authorities to any problems. “There’s more security here than you’ll find at your average bank or jewelry store,” Silverman said. “Cameras everywhere.”

Silverman promised there would be no delivery issues or odor issues at the site because everything would be delivered already packaged for sale.

The proposal is scaled to the neighborhood, Silverman said. “You won’t see neon signs,” he said. “There’s a small sign on the door.”

It’s the first time Rose has been back before the Tisbury board since they essentially told him to come back with a new site because of the pushback that a previous site at Woodlawn Center received for being too close to a dance studio.

Rose sat quietly through most of the presentation, allowing Silverman to tackle the few questions raised. Rose would like to enter into a host community agreement with Tisbury that would allow him to take the next step of applying for a state license. In the chicken-and-egg scenario, that agreement, which outlines how much the town would receive in compensation, has to be ironed out before applying.

Rose is offering 3 percent of gross revenues, which his attorney estimated could be $3 million per year, with the caveat that the market and competition aren’t yet fully understood. That would give the town $90,000 per year in direct payments, based on Silverman’s revenue estimate, as well as another 3 percent, or $90,000, collected in taxes by the state and returned to the town.

As part of the host community agreement, Rose would pay the town $20,000 once a special permit is issued to defray the town’s costs. Typically, the host community payments are made at the end of a year, Silverman said.

On Monday, Rose held a community outreach session, another requirement of the licensing process, at the Katharine Cornell Theater that was sparsely attended. There were only a handful of people there, and none of the issues raised when he proposed the Woodlawn site were brought up.

Another proposal for 65 Mechanic’s St. has not been back before the board since The Times reported that the proposed manager, Noah Eisendrath, faced sanctions at a bar he owns in Boston for serving underage patrons.

Selectmen chair Melinda Loberg asked if two retail outlets could coexist in town. Silverman, who has national experience as an expert in cannabis law, said he believed they could.

Rose is also pitching a retail outlet in West Tisbury, not far from where he will be dispensing medical marijuana on State Road.

Tisbury selectman Jeff Kristal took issue with the Vineyard Haven location being smaller than the West Tisbury site. “Why are we always the doormat? Why does West Tisbury get a larger facility and more people?” he said. 

Selectmen made no commitments to Rose, other than to have the town’s attorney look at the proposed host community agreement. Once that’s done, the board will get back in touch with Rose to discuss whether the town wants to move forward.

Tisbury is the third license sought by Rose. Along with West Tisbury, he is also seeking a license in Framingham. License holders are allowed three statewide.

Silverman made the point of Rose living on-Island. “When there’s something that goes wrong and the CEO gets a call at 10 o’clock at night, it’s not going to be a help if he’s an ocean away. That’s not going to happen with Geoff,” he said.

New sergeants appointed

The board voted 2-0, with selectman Jim Rogers participating by phone, but unable to vote, to promote two police officers to sergeant. Police Chief Mark Saloio said acting Sgt. Jeff Day and Det. Max Sherman participated in a rigorous and competitive process that included interviews and exams to earn their stripes. It’s the first time the department has had such a process to promote officers, Saloio said.

With their families on hand and some members of the department standing at the back of the room, both men had their new badges pinned on them — Sherman by his wife, Danielle, while he held Nora, 3, one of their three children, and Day by his son Matthew, 11.

“They both did an outstanding job, and earned where they are sitting tonight,” Saloio said.

Loberg said after the ceremony that the department is headed in the right direction. “This marks a great achievement for our police department,” she said.

In other business, selectmen asked the planning board to reconsider some language in a zoning bylaw approved at a recent town meeting that allows multiple dwelling units.

Kristal said how the bylaw has been applied has caught some people in the community off-guard. “It needs another look at it,” he said.

Kristal tried to make a motion to formalize the process by sending a letter, but Loberg wouldn’t second the motion. She said she’d like to respect the planning board and give the board a chance to do it without selectmen taking a vote — that despite even more urging from the audience, including former selectman Larry Gomez.

“I’d like to see them take it back and have it done very quickly, and advertise this in the papers so people can come and express their [thoughts],” Gomez said.

Mark Alexander, who has raised issues with a proposal by Island Housing Trust at 299 Dagget Ave., was told he couldn’t talk about that proposal specifically. But he also urged the board to push the planning board to revisit the bylaw. “Please, second it,” Alexander said to Loberg. “Let’s talk about it. We can respect the planning board anyway.”

Ben Robinson, a member of the planning board, cast doubt on how quickly the board might discuss it, because of an ongoing public hearing involving the Island House Trust project attempting to fit into that bylaw. He did try to assure the selectmen there are safeguards in the bylaws as written to give planners discretion on whether a multi-dwelling project fits within a neighborhood.

Updated to correct attorney’s name. -Ed.