WORCESTER – The City of Worcester is among several municipalities across the state subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of an investigation into community host agreements with marijuana retailers.
A City spokesperson said they will fully comply with the request.
The Boston Globe reported on Monday evening that at least five other communities — including Leicester and Uxbridge — are among those that have received subpoenas from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office.
According to the Globe, a grand jury is investigating the agreements as part of “…a major escalation of an effort by federal prosecutors to crack down on local corruption related to the burgeoning cannabis industry.”
In 2016, the City signed its first community host agreement with marijuana dispensary Good Chemistry which opened its doors on Harrison St. earlier this year.
As part of the agreement, Good Chemistry will pay the City $100,000, plus 1.5 percent of the business’ gross sales revenue after its first year in operation. In the second year, they will pay $150,000, plus two percent of gross sales. In the third year and each year after, Good Chemistry will pay $200, 000 plus 2.5 percent of gross sales.
Good Chemistry also pays all real property taxes and agreed to make an effort to hire Worcester residents.
According to state law, Worcester is required to sign 15 host agreements with marijuana retailers. To date, there have been nine agreements approved.
The City also issued a 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana and adopted an ordinance imposing restrictions on the operation of marijuana establishments by requiring them to go before the City’s license commission.
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