The team unveiled its plans to open an adult-use, recreational marijuana facility in the neighborhood at a meeting sponsored by the mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services at the Fenway Community Center on Thursday, Sept. 27.
MedMen, which is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and operates 19 facilities in California, New York, Nevada and Florida, as well as Canada, anticipates opening the dispensary on a ground-floor space at 120 Brookline Ave. in the second or third quarter of 2019, said Morgan Sokol, the company’s vice president of government affairs. While MedMen is currently applying as a recreational marijuana facility, she said the company is also interested in offering medical marijuana at its Fenway location. She added that MedMen would work with the city to establish appropriate hours of operation.
Sokol said MedMen intends to open a cultivation facility in Millbury, but in the meantime would partner with other marijuana manufacturers throughout the state to sell their products.
“We were drawn to the Fenway because of its diversity…which is aligned with our vision to de-stigmatize marijuana,” Sokol said.
John Seltzer, the company’s chief security officer and a 20-year veteran of the King County Sheriff’s Office in California, as well as a former employee of the Chicago-based aircraft-manufacturing company Boeing, said MedMen’s Fenway facility would boast the “best-in-class security system,” including two security guards on site during business hours and additional security during events at Fenway Park, as well as an access control for would-be customers.
“There are checks and balances in place to make sure that only people who are legally permitted can come into our facilities,” Seltzer said. “Customers must present a valid ID stating they are over 21, which is then scanned before they can go inside to the sales-associate level.”
Peter Sougarides of the Boston-basedcommercial real estate firm Samuels & Associates, which owns the building that would be home to the facility, said the firm wasn’t interested when they began fielding calls from proposed marijuana facilities about a year ago, but is “now vested in trying to figure this out.”
“This is a new world here,” Sougarides said. “It’s the Wild, Wild West in terms of people trying to get into this business.”
Sougarides added that MedMen is the most professional, potential operator to approach Samuels & Associates in regard to opening a marijuana dispensary.
Yissel Guerrero, Mayor Martin Walsh’s neighborhood liaison for the Fenway, as well as the Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Mission Hill, said the applicant has yet to schedule a date with the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to hear the proposal.
“The city is not a stakeholder,” Guerrero said. “We’re just here to provide a platform to share ideas.”