Voters to weigh zoning change allowing marijuana facility in Wareham's Tremont Nail Factory District

By Matthew Bernat | Jul 10, 2018
Courtesy of: Ken Buckland A marijuana company seeks to open a processing facility at the Tremont Nail Factory District, which town officials have been striving to develop.

A multi-million dollar company that does business internationally is eyeing the Tremont Nail Factory District as a potential site to process marijuana. But it will be up to Wareham voters at an upcoming Special Town Meeting if it should be allowed to open or not.

On Tuesday, Director of Planning & Community Development Ken Buckland informed Selectmen a Colorado-based company, which he declined to name, expressed interest in opening inside a warehouse on the 7.2-acre site on Elm Street.

On the property, where nails were manufactured since the 1800s up until 2004 before the town purchased the site, there are eight buildings. Some date back 300 years, while the building being considered for the marijuana business is a few decades old.

Buckland said plans call for employing between 40 to 70 people with salaries for shift work starting at $63,000. More importantly, Buckland and Town Administrator Derek Sullivan noted, the business has the potential to bring in $1 million in revenue over a five-year period. That money would be a mix of rent to the town and taxes.

“This would be pure revenue,” said Sullivan.

However, there is a problem. The site wasn’t included in a recently passed bylaw restricting marijuana businesses to three areas of town. Also, questions surrounding whether or not the area is properly zoned for light manufacturing remain. Developers plan on processing 12 tons of marijuana per year at the site, said Selectman Peter Teitelbaum.

The solution is to schedule a Special Town Meeting before the regularly scheduled October Town Meeting. At the meeting, voters would be asked to include the Tremont Nail Factory District as a location where a marijuana business could open. Voters would also be asked to alter zoning bylaws to allow for light manufacturing there as well.

Selectmen noted there was a chance the zoning change may not be necessary because manufacturing had been allowed there for years as a grandfathered use long before zoning bylaws were enacted in the 1950s. Town Counsel Richard Bowen said he would need to research the matter. Bowen recommended Selectmen move forward with the Special Town Meeting, but stipulate the business owners cover the costs.

Chair Alan Slavin acknowledged the business may raise some eyebrows.

“We understand this is an industry not everybody is in favor of,” said Slavin. “But it’s possible we could increase town services.”

Selectman Patrick Tropeano agreed.

“This is a question for town meeting,” he said. “Voters will decide if they want it there or if they don’t want it there.”

Selectmen unanimously approved a motion to move forward with Special Town Meeting, at a date yet to be determined.

The Tremont Nail Factory District is located on a 7.2-acre site on Elm Street. (Courtesy of: Ken Buckland )
Comments (23)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 11, 2018 00:23

So Bucky, what happened to the “artisan center” or whatever the heck was proposed to go in there?  Now you want to grow weed?


Look now, this same issue of Wareham Week also has an article on a car show that was just held at Tremont Nail.  Car shows are supposed to be one of the things that continue there once it becomes the artisan center.  The cars are lined up right in front of the building that would become the weed farm.  How can car shows continue in that location?


$63,000 a year for shift work in a grow facility.   I don't believe that.  That's over $30 an hour!

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 11, 2018 05:42

"Master Plan" vs grabbing a quick buck. Housing, theatre, gallery space, event space, museum, nature center,  multi-genrational use all were indicated by the yet-again expensive and ignored fancy survey. Meet me at the Tremont will have a whole new meaning! Yes, the growing facilities and dispensaries will pay more than nurses and teachers make in Wareham.

Posted by: Theresa ONeill | Jul 11, 2018 05:47

This site needs so much clean up (environmental / construction etc) it seems pie jn the sky as a cultural center without a major backer.

Wareham needs tax dollars and people here need jobs. Rezone it, bring in revenue, and attract more business. Wareham can be ahead if the curve and perhaps be the first town to have an established, thriving marijuana based industry. It could mean ancilary industries like research / education etc around the industry also establishing roots here - meaning higher paying jobs.

The nail factory has done nothing but cost this town money. Lets be realistic and get something in there that works.


Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 11, 2018 06:46

Would the "$1 million in revenue over a five-year period" be realized in the first five years that the business would be open? Or will the proposed business be given a tax break that would delay the town receiving the "$1 million in revenue over a five-year period" for several years?

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 11, 2018 07:23

From nails to bails... The story of a homegrown company.

Posted by: yourmonkeysuncle | Jul 11, 2018 07:24

Theresa O. presents a very good case. Andrea S. poses some good questions which need to be addressed.

This could be a great success if done properly. The revenue gained should be used to care for and maintain the Tremont property and NOT dumped into any sort of general fund. The cannabis industry is moving forward across the country. Wareham has the potential to embrace the concept and support this business. If we do not they will just go elsewhere. Rid yourselves of the stigma and treat it like any other business which  has the potential for growth. Do it and do it now without making it so constraining that the business goes elsewhere.



Posted by: Uptohere | Jul 11, 2018 09:31

Well that didn't take long to back track what we decided on. Just more BS. NO! It was already decided about the Tremont  and it was already decided about pot locations. Again NO!

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 11, 2018 09:45

This will only be a manufacturing plant. No sales will take place here. Bring on the taxes!

Posted by: Pgtropeano | Jul 11, 2018 10:11

This will not be a retail establishment. If town meeting approves this will be manufacturing only.

Would be in the space metal building and all the other thing we would like to see out there could still happen. It is difficult to turn away from the money when this town needs so much.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 11, 2018 10:16

I edited my comment, as long as there are no retail sales I'm all for it. We need to increase our tax base here in a big way. Bring it on!

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 11, 2018 10:54

This has always been zoned for manufacturing, so I do not understand the need for an expensive and contentious special town meeting.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 11, 2018 10:57

It's too close to the historical buildings to be considered separate.  Just as that metal building has always been considered out of place, this will be very out of place.  How are they supposed to conduct the artisan historical operation 50 feet from the weed operation?  Makes no sense.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 11, 2018 11:35

Makes prefect scents to me.


Posted by: Uptohere | Jul 11, 2018 12:21

Well if you're all about the money then let's just take all the historic sites and building and turn that over for pot sites. Let's start with the townhall that's ready to be soldout.

Posted by: Uptohere | Jul 11, 2018 12:21

Well if you're all about the money then let's just take all the historic sites and building and turn that over for pot sites. Let's start with the townhall that's ready to be soldout.

Posted by: felinesmom | Jul 11, 2018 12:37

If the growers are going to be a Mon-Fri 9-5 operation, they could very well co-exist with the nights/weekends artists, car shows, etc.  Otherwise,  what do you do with that metal bldg.?  The site is grandfathered for manufacturing.  All a special town meeting is going to do is try to get voters to pass a total moratorium

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 11, 2018 13:04

It's just not the place for a controversial operation.  I have nothing against the new medical & recreational marijuana industry.  I just think that it is a bad location.


Have you ever stood outside of a grow facility?  It smells.  Even if nobody is working, the ventilation system alone will make the historical art center with  car shows, etc smell like marijuana.  The oil on those buds is pungent!  That's not a smell that everybody that attends a car show will want to be smelling!


"Daddy Daddy, I have a question, what's that funny smell?"

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 11, 2018 14:35

We get 12% of everything they sell . they get a spot and all the pond water they needed to grow the stuff. They are all looking to move to Wareham because pot is a Gateway drug

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 11, 2018 16:10

From the Draft Master Plan 2018 "

Wareham needs more traditional economic

development in well-planned locations that

complement the town’s character.

Nearly all residents want improved services

from town government – especially schools.

But many also oppose the commercial growth

that is necessary to gather more taxes to fund

these services. To balance these diverse needs,

the Master Plan will advocate for strategic,

well-designed development that belongs in

its immediate context and fits the small town

character of Wareham."

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 11, 2018 16:13

WBTS maybe you were being sarcastic, but the artisan idea is out and manufacturing back in. I don't see any prohibition in zoning about adjacent historic property, there's a diner adjacent to the Fearing Tavern.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 11, 2018 17:00

Onset- me, sarcastic...never!  He he.

I was still seriously thinking that the plan was still an artisan center.  I guess I missed the announcement of that change.  I was actually kind of excited about that.  Oh well...

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 13, 2018 07:32

Visit some of the wonderful old mill complexes in New England turned into mixed use centers: upscale condos, craft brewery, makers/artisans, live theatre, cinema. Get out a RFP to developers and get this project going. It will be "pure revenue." Amherst has a large project of mixed use going in just months after Bertucci's closed No blight creeping in!

Name the proposed Colorado developer, we deserve to know their track record



Posted by: barnstorm | Jul 14, 2018 12:06

One of my many reasons against the legalization of pot has been the increase of impaired drivers on our roads. Many have argued that statistics show driving under the influence of alcohol is a far greater danger presently. I've thought about that counter-argument and it may have merit. Mostly, because drivers high on weed will be sitting in a drive-thru at Burger King, McDonalds or Taco Bell. And the BOS get ready to take  applications for fast food establishments to extend their operating hours. More jobs for illegals and maybe daycare for their children.....No Family Separation ...... A win, win and Wareham added as another sanctuary city. The Gateway to weed in Cape Cod!

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