How Mass. cities and towns could lose millions in cannabis money

Will millions of dollars in community host agreement money start flowing back to cannabis dispensary owners in the state?   

Massachusetts Cannabis Business Association President and CEO David O’Brien believes it could — and should happen.

A recent settlement that has the town of Uxbridge returning $1.17 million to Caroline Frankel, owner of Caroline’s Cannabis, could usher in a sea change in how community host agreements are made, O’Brien said in a phone call Monday. 

Under current state law, marijuana establishments must pay a community impact fee to the town they’re located in. Those fees can range up to 3% of gross sales.

But the fees were intended to offset the costs to the towns in police security, traffic control or educational programs related to dispensaries. The catch is that towns must use that money to pay for those impacts — and show proof.

‘Give it back’

Which is why Frankel wanted her money back. The costs to the town did not add up to $1.17 million, she claimed.Frankel’s complaint in Worcester Superior Court alleged she asked for documented costs and Uxbridge failed to provide relevant documents as required by state law. The town and Frankel settled on the $1.17 million refund.

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