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Report: Potential Conversion of Mary Ann’s to Dispensary Draws BC, Cleveland Circle Merchants’ Opposition

The Greatest Boston Bar Co., owned by development company City Realty, purchased Mary Ann’s Bar in Brighton in July, but the developers are now trying to sell Mary Ann’s—this time to Happy Valley Ventures, according to Universal Hub.

Happy Valley is opening a marijuana dispensary in East Boston and, if this sale goes through, plans to convert Mary Ann’s into a dispensary as well. Boston College officials have indicated their opposition to the proposed sale, as have Cleveland Circle merchants.

At the Brighton Allston Improvement Association meeting that took place on Wednesday night, representatives from City Realty and Happy Valley notified the group of the purchase and sale agreement in place between the two companies. The intention is that, if Happy Valley can clear the required hurdles, a dispensary can be opened that Happy Valley COO and founder Michael Reardon described as similar to a doctor’s office. Recreational and medical marijuana would be made available to customers.

Happy Valley will need, according to Universal Hub and Boston Patch, to receive a letter of “non opposition” from Boston City Council, as well as receive clearance from the Boston zoning board and state marijuana regulators.

University Spokesman Jack Dunn and Chief of the BC Police Department Bill Evans have voiced opposition to the measure, as has Bill Mills, BC’s director of community affairs. Dunn told Patch that the University would support local residents’ efforts to shut down the proposed sale.

“Boston College joins neighbors, merchants, and the Boston police in opposing the proposed marijuana dispensary in cleveland circle,” Dunn said. “We feel that it is not in the best interests of the community to open a dispensary in Cleveland circle and will continue our collective efforts to oppose it throughout the licensing process.”

Evans expressed health and safety concerns.

“It will only lead to more serious drug use by young kids,” Evans said to Patch. “Some people will go to the store for it, but once they get used to smoking marijuana, they’ll go to the black market for it, where it’s cheaper. It’s not a harmless drug. And I think it’s going to lead to a lot of unintended consequences both in health and safety.”

George Haverhais, the owner of Reservoir Wines and Spirits delivered a letter from 10 local businesses in Cleveland Circle declaring opposition to the dispensary, according to Universal Hub.

The Heights has reached out to each of these parties, and this story will be updated.

City Realty said during a city licensing board meeting two months ago that Mary Ann’s would be kept unchanged, but during Wednesday’s meeting a representative from the company said City Realty isn’t in the business of owning a bar, but is a development company. Until the sale goes through, though, Mary Ann’s will continue to operate, according to Patch.

October 13, 2018