An applicant proposing a recreational marijuana dispensary for the current site of Little Steve’s Pizzeria detailed their plans during a city-sponsored meeting Monday at the Copley Branch of the Boston Public Library.
Todd Finard, CEO of Boston’s Finard Properties, intends to open the facility called Cypress Tree Management with Victor Chaing, a hedge fund investor; Carlos Costeo, a construction safety manager and entrepreneur; and Eric Liebman, who helped establish the original location of the Boloco fast food chain at Berklee College of Music. Rick Nagle, a former Massachusetts State Trooper, would oversee security for the dispensary.
Cypress Tree Management would occupy the first two floors and basement, which total 7,800 feet, of the building at 1114 Boylston St. in the Fenway. An express counter would be located at the rear of the first floor, which Chaing said could process advance orders in about three minutes. The 4,000 square-foot second floor, which would have two private consulting rooms, table seating, display areas and various point of sale, could comfortably hold around 180 customers.
“We feel like we have a facility and location that will take people off the street in terms of queuing,” Chaing said. “And if we can’t handle the crowd, customers will be placed in a virtual queue and notified by text when the store can accommodate them.”
Also, in deference to community input, Chaing said the Cypress Tree Management wouldn’t sell “individual pre-rolls.”
Nagle said Cypress Tree Management would seek to educate its customers by posting signage instructing them that smoking outside is forbidden, and those caught disobeying the ordinance will subsequently be banned from the store. “Part of security will be to monitor outside and take note,” he added.
The dispensary would also be closed before most Red Sox games and concerts at Fenway Park end, Nagle said, and extra security would be on hand on the days of these events at the ballpark.
Of the six dispensaries currently proposed for the neighborhood, Finard said only Cypress Tree Management boasted the only team of residents who live and work in the Boston area.
“Unlike other applicants we’re local,” Finard said. “Cypress Tree Management is exactly the type of group that the City of Boston should be partnering with and the type of group that [the community] should be advocating for.”
Fr. Peter Grover of St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine at 1105 Boylston St. wasn’t convinced, however: “It really hurts me to think that drugs and drug dealers will be brought into the neighborhood to try to prey on the young people we’re trying to serve,” he said.
Fr. Grover suggested that the city put restrictions on allowing marijuana dispensaries to open near churches.
While several Berklee students lauded the proposed site, Fenway resident John Bookston said, “This is probably the worst location you could pick for a cannabis store…and of course there’s going to be a line with 35,000 people going to games and concerts.”