A new marijuana retail company has its sights set on locating at Cambridge Street in Sullivan Square, and their spokesman is former City Councilor Sal LaMattina – who said meetings on the proposal could happen as soon as September.
LaMattina told the Patriot-Bridge that Bloominus hopes to locate at 116 Cambridge St. next to the Tavern at the End of the World, taking down one of the buildings on the site and significantly renovating the remaining building – if approved. The site would provide them with a secure facility and plenty of parking.
“Bloominus is looking to locate at 116 Cambridge St. a medical and recreational dispensary,” he said. “I know people in the neighborhood are very nervous about marijuana. It’s a new industry. Like every new industry, you should be concerned, but the good thing about recreational and medical marijuana is we can regulate it. In Denver, when I visited it as a city councilor, they regulate it from seed to purchase…I think this is the right location because it’s away from the neighborhood. It’s on the other side of the highway. It has a lot of parking. A lot of people are misinformed about these places, that there will be drug users hanging out in the parking lot. It’s not the case if you look at existing operations.”
Bloominus is headed up by Mark DeAngelis, who has had a marketing agency in Waltham for more than 25 years, with clients such as CVS and Staples.
According to the company website, as DeAngelis explored entering the Massachusetts cannabis industry, he came to see a major, unmet need for civic-minded, professional leadership and commitment to a higher standard of inclusion and community reinvestment.
“Cannabis is fundamentally a real-estate-driven retail business,’’ he explained. “You need an experienced, trusted team that can execute.”
The cultivator for the company is Washington, D.C.-based Corey Barnette. Before Washington, D.C., he was involved in the California marijuana industry.
Others on the team include:
- Bruce A. Dean, security
- Robert Lewis Jr., Board Member (founder of The Base program)
- Chris DeFazio, MD, 30-year emergency room physician from Massachusetts.
- G. Malik Burnett, MD.
- Adler Eliacin, Board of Advisors.
- Elmer Freeman, Board Member.
- Joe St. Martin, CPA.
LaMattina said the company will be reaching out to abutters and the community in the coming month. He predicted things would probably start in mid-September.
“The next step for us is to have a community meeting,” he said. “We’ll work out talking to the abutters and then talk with the community. We’ll also be working with the City to create a mitigation package for Charlestown. It’s very positive. I would not be involved with this if it wasn’t all positive.”
On that same note, LaMattina said DeAngelis wants to be involved in the community.
“They want us to have a real strong bond with Charlestown and the neighborhood,” he said. “That’s important to me that we are giving back. We don’t want to make money and run. We want to get involved and help the neighborhood. I hope to build that relationship between Bloominus and Charlestown.”
LaMattina pointed out that Charlestown voted for legalization of marijuana during the statewide ballot question by a margin of 60 to 40. He also said that he has come to support the industry after having taken a visit to Denver when he was still a city councilor.
“For me personally, I’m excited to be working on this project,” he said. “When I was a city councilor, I went to Denver to observe recreational marijuana there…When I was there I met city councilors from Denver who were very positive about it, and they had opposed it before. The mayor of Denver had opposed it, and he changed his mind afterwards. Business leaders there told us it really helped with their business districts, particularly with security.”
LaMattina said residents will begin hearing more at meetings in September.
Any proposal for marijuana has to go through a rigorous City Zoning Board process, and also has to gain approvals at the state Cannabis Control Commission.