TRURO — The owners of two planned cannabis retail shops, the Piping Plover in Wellfleet and the Salty Farmers in Eastham, are negotiating a community host agreement to grow and manufacture marijuana products at 1 Noons Heights Road in North Truro.
The business owners are Zachary Ment, founder of the Piping Plover at 10 Main St. in Wellfleet, and Harlen Howard of Truro and Jonah Turner of Eastham, who are co-owners of Salty Farmers, which will have a retail shop at 182 Brackett Road (near Sam’s Deli) and a 2,000-square-foot indoor grow facility at 120 Holmes Road in Eastham.
The Eastham and Wellfleet businesses already have provisional licenses from the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to sell or grow marijuana. Final state licensing for the Piping Plover is expected on April 15, Ment told the Independent. He estimates he’ll be opening in May. Howard said renovations to the Eastham facilities are nearly complete and he hopes to be open in June.
On March 23, Ment and Howard appeared before the Truro Select Board to apply to use the 960-square-foot ranch-style home on Noons Heights Road owned by Michael Winkler. The brown building, which is in a commercial zone, is visible from Route 6. Ment, Howard, and Turner want to add a kitchen to make edibles, including gummies, lozenges, and chocolates, Ment said.
They will use about 100 square feet of the space for the indoor cultivation of special strains of marijuana, Ment said. The edibles would be for sale only in their own retail shops, Howard told the select board. No customers or members of the general public would be able to go inside “the Hatchery,” the working name for the Truro venture. Ment said the moniker could change.
Select board member Kristen Reed and Town Manager Darrin Tangeman agreed to negotiate the terms of the host agreement with the business owners. Truro has just one other host agreement with a marijuana operation, the High Dune Craft Cooperative, which is still awaiting a provisional license to grow marijuana at five different farms, four in Truro and one in Wellfleet. The co-op members just completed a second list of questions from the CCC. They expect a provisional license soon after, said David DeWitt, one of the members of the cooperative.
If Ment’s and Turner’s plan materializes, they will have taken the one cultivation and one manufacturing business licenses available in Truro. The cooperative, meanwhile, will be using a social equity license, which allows them to grow, manufacture, and deliver product, DeWitt explained.
The High Dune Craft Cooperative agreement, signed in August 2019, stipulates that the farmers will contribute one percent of their gross sales in the first year, increasing to 3 percent in year three, to the town. Sales will be calculated by an independent auditor. There is a mediation process if six or more neighbors living 600 feet or fewer from the farms complain about nuisances such as noise or odor.
Sue Areson of the select board asked Howard what happens inside a building that manufactures cannabis products.
“We are going to build a nice kitchen,” he replied. “The idea is to keep our shelves stocked. It is edibles for ourselves.”
The security plan, which must be approved by the Truro police, includes cameras and doors controlled by electronic key fobs, Howard said.
With recreational marijuana shops banned in most Cape towns (except Mashpee, Orleans, and Brewster), pot purveyors are hoping the Outer Cape will become the green mile. Eastham expects to host two retail shops, Salty Farmers and Emerald Grove at the Main Street Mercantile complex on Route 6.
In Wellfleet, besides Ment’s shop, there is Cape Cod Cannabis at the former South Wellfleet General Store, 1446 Route 6. It was inspected by the CCC in February and has been recommended for final licensing.
Truro will have growers and manufacturing but no retail sales. Provincetown, meanwhile, already has two pot shops open for business, Curaleaf and b/well.
The two Provincetown stores have so far paid the town $480,000 in taxes and fees for the year 2020. That corresponds to about $8.7 million in total sales.