Caroline’s Cannabis seeks approval for home delivery based out of Hopedale
By Theresa Knapp
Caroline Frankel, owner and Chief Executive Officer of Caroline’s Cannabis at 4 Charlesview Road, has asked the Hopedale Select Board to support and execute a Host Community Agreement for product manufacturing and a marijuana courier delivery service.
Frankel made a presentation to the board at its April 25 meeting outlining plans to “produce a hand-crafted infused pre-roll” which she would then sell in childproof packaging. She would not be ‘manufacturing’ anything additional, just rolling product she already has on hand. She will do this within her current building space.
Frankel also detailed plans for home delivery, noting a delivery service offers cannabis consumers an additional way to access the projects and also offers discretion. She also noted that some customers would like home delivery for medical reasons - they might qualify for a medical marijuana card but “People in this State, they just don’t want to give their information to be part of these medical programs. So a lot of people who are using cannabis in the recreational world are using it for medicinal reasons so we’re going to be able to hit a large group of people who aren’t able to leave their homes.”
Then-Select Board Chair Brian Keyes noted that allowing this company to expand its business beyond its current in-store revenue will increase sales and ultimately increase the excise tax the company pays to the town.
Frankel estimates there are 10 marijuana delivery services in Massachusetts. She would be delivering out of her Hopedale location only.
A Marijuana Courier Licensee is authorized to deliver finished marijuana products, marijuana accessories, and branded goods directly to consumers from a marijuana retailer.
Frankel said of the Cannabis Control Board, “The CCC has already issued me a marijuana currier precertification for this license type which means that the state has approved my delivery application and I just need the signed HCA for delivery and I would also have to conduct a community outreach meeting to move forward.”
Home deliveries would take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., 7 days a week, per state guidelines. Caroline’s Cannabis would be allowed to deliver in Hopedale plus any other municipality in the state that allows retail marijuana sales (currently 191 of the state’s 351 communities), and any other municipality that has notified the CCC that deliveries can operate within its borders.
A full list of those communities can be found on the CCC’s Municipal Zoning Tracker www.masscannabiscontrol.com/municipal-zoning-tracker/
In addition to Hopedale, a few surrounding towns that allow home deliveries include Mendon, Millville, Blackstone, and Uxbridge.
Surrounding towns that have banned delivery include Bellingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Milford, and Upton.
Vehicles will be registered as commercial vehicles (a total of two vans but using one primarily) in Hopedale, and will not have any external markings or symbols that indicate they are carrying marjiuana. Each vehicle will be staffed with two people, one will stay in the vehicle at all times it contains any marijuana.
To qualify for home delivery, customers will need to register with Caroline’s Cannabis ahead of time and provide proof they are at least 21 years old. Upon delivery, the agent will verify the customer’s identity and age visually and also with a “handheld age ID system scanner.” The agent will also ensure the delivery acknowledgement signature matches the signature on the state-issued identification.
Products will be ordered online through the company’s website.
Security measures include anti-theft alarm systems on the vehicle, secured locked storages within the vehicle, video cameras (focused on storage and the driver), GPS, direct communication between each vehicle and dispatch, and the use of body cameras at all times (recording will be kept for 30 days).
Town Administrator Diana Schindler noted that the business is zoned properly for these changes but would still require a special permit.
Selectperson Glenda Hazard said, “This is a big change of use in your business” from retail to adding the wholesale and the delivery.
Frankel’s attorney Nicholas Obolensky said, “You have to think of it like a restaurant that just decides to offer home delivery of their food. The restaurant’s still there, the brick and mortar is still there, anybody can still go and eat the food there but, at the same time, if you’re at home and you’ve got Covid and you can’t go to the restaurant, you can have that food delivered to you. Same situation here. She’s just adding vehicles that will be able to deliver her products directly to her consumers.”
Obolensky will work with Hopedale’s Town Counsel regarding amended language for the HCA, and Frankel will speak with the Police Chief to address any of his concerns.
After the HCA is signed by the Select Board and accepted by the state, Frankel will hold a community outreach meeting to answer any questions from the public.