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December 29, 2020

Proposed 175K-sq.-ft. Dudley marijuana facility & dispensary moves forward

Photo | Monica Benevides The Chase Avenue property where DMA Holdings plans to operate an extensive marijuana facility.

Marijuana company DMA Holdings hopes to begin work on a 175,000-square-foot property located at 35-37 Chase Ave. in Dudley as soon as January, where it aims to develop an extensive cultivation, manufacturing and retail business in an old mill complex along the French River.

DMA Holdings is led by CEO Joseph Villatico, a Webster native who in 2018 co-founded a Colorado CBD company, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Dudley’s planning board officially signed off on DMA’s special permit application and site plan proposal on Dec. 9. Work is expected to begin on the 4,000 square-foot retail space in January, following a cursory waiting period during which residents may appeal the permit approval, according to attorney Nicholas Adamopoulos, who is representing DMA. Work on the remaining manufacturing and cultivation space is anticipated in 2021’s first quarter. 

DMA currently has an approved provisional consideration license status from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

According to a presentation filed with the Town of Dudley, the facility will be located in a historic mill building dating to 1864. The building has most recently been home to Drafter’s Sports Cafe, which closed its Dudley location on Dec. 12 and plans to move to Thompson, Conn., according to the pub’s Facebook page.

DMA plans to begin its cultivation operations with a Tier 8 license from the CCC, which allows for up to 70,000 square feet of canopy cultivation, but, according to Dudley’s planning board, the company plans to eventually expand its grow space up to 100,000 square feet of canopy. If and when DMA does so, it will not need to seek a modification to its special permit, according to the planning board.

DMA’s application documents before the CCC call for selling and/or producing an extensive array of products, including tinctures, oils, taffies, whole-plant cannabis, capsules, cooking oils, beverages, teas, syrups, butters and topicals.

The company has estimated the facility will create as many as 400 jobs between manufacturing, cultivation and retail operations, and said it plans to give hiring preference to Dudley residents.

DMA’s positive impact plan calls for providing at least 12 expungement services to Massachusetts residents with past drug convictions and Massachusetts residents with parents or spouses who have drug convictions, as well as giving hiring preference to at least 50% of individuals, or their spouses, who have obtained expungement services offered by the company.

Additionally, its diversity plan calls for giving 30% hiring preference to people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community. 

Adamopoulos said DMA hopes to have its retail operations up and running by June or July, with manufacturing and cultivation up and running by either the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.

EDITOR'S NOTE: WBJ Staff Writer Monica Busch, who wrote this story, is an abutter within 300 feet of DMA's proposed facility on Chase Avenue.

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