The Martha’s Vineyard Commission met Thursday night to unanimously approve its written decision on Island Grown Farm’s proposed construction of a new, all-electric Education and Innovation Center at its Tisbury farm.
The plans involve building a 4,240-square-foot building that will serve as office and educational space, along with two new housing units and three seasonal yurts for employees. The proposal is just the first phase of IGI’s “master plan” of expansion and construction. The new center will allow for increased community accessibility and emphasize educational programs.
On the approval, MVC chair John Malkin said, “I’m glad we’re able to approve it; it’s wonderful.”
Also on the meeting agenda was the concurrence review of a proposed marijuana dispensary and propagation venue, which cites plans to convert and expand a sheet-metal building, previously an auto repair shop, on Mechanics Street in Vineyard Haven into a registered marijuana dispensary and recreational marijuana establishment called Main Street Medicinals.
The main concern discussed about the new dispensary is the possibility of increased traffic, specifically because Island Times, which also sells cannabis products, is located on the same road in Tisbury.
To control traffic, LUPC chair Doug Sederholm asked if the Tisbury planning board would be able to “condition its approval of this application to require appointment only,” despite the model of the proposal being a walk-in establishment, citing “sufficient regional impact.”
To help mitigate traffic, owners of the dispensary proposed extending Mechanics Street in order to accommodate a one-way driveway and allow for smooth access back into State Road via High Point Lane; construction costs and “refreshment of pavement markings and signage” would be paid for by the owners. They also agreed to hire on-Island contractors for the work.
Per the Host Community Agreement with Tisbury, the owners of Main Street Medicinals will be required to contribute an annual $25,000 to the Tisbury Affordable Housing Committee, in addition to $20,000 per year to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.
Annual revenue of the dispensary is projected to be between $6 million and $8 million, and if approved, is expected to be open by spring 2023. The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal.
In other business, the commission acknowledged a bill that would give the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) a seat at the commission. The bill was approved by the House and is expected to be voted on by the Senate in the next month. If passed, the bill would replace the governors’ appointee with a tribal representative.
“I’m very happy about this,” said Malkin. “This is a great opportunity for all to work together, and for the tribe to have a voice.”
In a story about the recent vote, state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, said it would correct an oversight of not including the federally recognized tribe on the commission.
“It’s a positive thing for the Island,” Malkin said.