NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 1, 2013

Landlord says no to medical marijuana business

Medical Evolution co-owners surprised by decision

NEWBURY — The owner of commercial office space on Kent’s Way said he has no plans to lease his property for use as a state-registered medicinal marijuana dispensary.

Landlord Brendan Kelly said he was “quite surprised” when a colleague sent him a copy of a recent article published in The Daily News that reported that at a selectmen’s meeting last Tuesday, the nonprofit corporation, Medical Evolution, had mentioned the site as a possible location for a marijuana dispensary.

Kelly said he and his other commercial real estate partners wished the nonprofit “success in their venture” but added, “We do not believe that 12 Kent Way is the appropriate location for their business.”

This was news to Brandon Terricone and Elizabeth Holland, co-owners of Medical Evolution. They felt they had received good feedback from Kelly on a plan to house the dispensary on his property during a tour of the building several weeks ago, they told selectmen on Tuesday.

The two met with town leaders last week as part of a proactive effort to shore up support for their mission before applying for one of the 35 state-issued registered marijuana dispensary licenses that will soon be made available now that Massachusetts voters agreed last November to legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

When reached yesterday, Terricone said both he and the local real estate broker who went through the space with him were “kind of blindsided” to hear of Kelly’s comments — calling it “a complete 180” from the impression they had both received from landlord during their initial site visit.

“I am very surprised to hear Brendan back away from the plans we discussed in detail during our meeting of over an hour,” he said. Because of the potential sensitivity to the type of business he is proposing, Terricone said that from the beginning of the licensing process he has always made sure the landlord of any space he was considering leasing understood what it would be used for prior to scheduling an appointment to tour it. “Otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time,” he explained.

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