Canna Provisions hopes to open Lee’s first marijuana retailer on Housatonic Street

LEE — The first prospective marijuana retailer in town has eyes on a location on Housatonic Street, within sight of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Canna Provisions Inc. hopes to operate the first adult-use marijuana retail storefront at 220 Housatonic Street, currently occupied by Southern States Auto Sales. The site neighbors the Lee Dunkin’ Donuts location. The store will only operate as a dispensary, according to Canna Provisions Manager Erik Williams. The company has a purchase and sale agreement in place for obtaining the property contingent on becoming licensed to operate in Lee by the town and the state.

Canna Provisions’s majority owner, Eugene McCain, was a major backer of the 2016 push for Ballot Question 1 which, had it passed, would have permitted the construction of a second slots parlor on property he owned near the Suffolk Downs race track in Revere. According to a June 13 report by The Republican, McCain’s political committee reached an agreement to pay $125,000 to campaign finance regulators with the state of Massachusetts for withholding the identity of the ballot question’s backers in January 2017.

In a statement provided to the Record by Williams on Wednesday, McCain stated: “This matter has been fully resolved with the State by the Committee. This was a minor disclosure oversight by the campaign’s advertising firm that encompassed an entire ad buy – so a small fine repeated for every time the advertisement aired. Though I regret and take full responsibility for this error, these types of disclosure errors happen all the time.”

Williams and his attorney, Jack Ferriter came before the select board on June 19 to make an initial presentation of the proposed marijuana retail store. During his presentation to the board, Williams noted that he also intends to seek a separate application for a “extraction and productization…as well as cultivation” establishment in Lee at a later date.

Williams and fellow Canna Provision Manager Meg Sanders — Williams’ partner — plan to serve as the store’s operational managers in charge of running the day-to-day operations.

The company will be holding a community outreach meeting on July 6 at the Morgan House Inn. The meeting is one of a number of prerequisites the company must follow before being granted proper licensure from the Cannabis Control Commission, the government body tasked with regulating the adult-use marijuana industry in the state. Canna Provisions plans to present its site plan to the Lee Select Board at its next meeting on July 3 and return again on July 17 to further discuss a host community agreement.

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