Timeline for NETA in Brookline Village

Note: This chronology is presented in reverse order; more recent events are near the top of the page. To start at the beginning of the narrative, scroll all the way down to the bottom and begin reading, scrolling up as you go.

Also, please refer to the catalog of Select Board videos, transcripts, and meeting reports for more details about licensing and other decisions mentioned below.

14 Jan 2020Select Board begins interviewing candidates for the new Cannabis Mitigation Advisory CommitteeCriteria are vague, but it appears at first glance that candidates must reside in (or have a connection to?) one of the areas directly impacted by a marijuana retailer in Brookline.
17 Dec 2019NETA's 2020 license renewal hearingFor more details, a report from attendee and Walnut St resident Kerri Ann Tester is available.
11 Dec 20191st portion of mitigation funds allocated (to the Police Dept)The Select Board gives the Police Department an estimated $350,000+ in "Mitigation Funds" paid to the Town by NETA, to fund time for 2 new full-time Parking Control positions and 3 new full-time Patrol positions. For details, see video of this meeting.
12 Nov 201990-day review of NETA's extended hours trial, part 2 of 2Voting portion (part 2 of 2) of the required 90-day review of NETA's "extended hours" trial. This vote was now taking place 5 months later than it was supposed to have been. The Select Board voted unanimously to rescind the original grant of extended hours. For details, see video of this meeting.
22 Oct 201990-day review of NETA's extended hours trial, part 1 of 2Public hearing portion (part 1 of 2) of the required 90-day review of the "extended hours" granted to NETA during their initial opening period. By this time, this hearing was four months overdue. For details, see video of this meeting.
23 Jun 2019Deadline for 1) NETA's submission of a 3-month follow-up traffic study and 2) the 90-day review of NETA's extended hours trial periodNETA reports that the follow-up traffic study was submitted to the Transportation Department on time. However, in spite of the report's clearly stating that NETA's performance goals had not been met, the study was never forwarded to the Transportation Board; the Town's Transportation Department failed to take any remedial action whatsoever to enforce the terms of NETA's license and permit; and NETA likewise failed to take the appropriate "actions to manage site traffic and parking conditions," as required in their original Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDMP). As for the review of their extended hours, this deadline came and went entirely unnoticed by the Select Board.
23 Jun 2019Sale of NETA to Surterra Holdings approvedThe MA Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) approves the sale of NETA to Surterra Holdings, a national holding company based in Atlanta, GA
21 May 2019Town Meeting Warrant ArticlesWarrant article 21 includes the provision that "the Town shall be under no obligation to enter into a Host Community Agreement if it determines that the proposed Marijuana Establishment may violate applicable State or local laws"
23 Mar 2019NETA begins recreational marijuana salesNETA adds recreational marijuana sales to its existing medical card-only retail sales at their 160 Washington Street location in Brookline Village.
27 Nov 2018NETA's recreational marijuana license finalized by the Select BoardFinal Licensing Conditions for Medicinal & Retail Marijuana Sales*
29 Oct 2018Grant of special permit reliefThis approval by the Board of Appeals was subject to 10 specific conditions, all requiring approvals from other entities, such as the Dept of Regulatory Planning, Preservation Commission, Depts of Transportation/Engineering, Select Board, Police Department, Planning Board, Building Commissioner, MA Dept of Public Health, and MA Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). It is within this decision that requirements for the Transportation Demand Management Plan are introduced.
26 Oct 2018License Application for Recreational Retail SalesThis document is 101 pages long and comprehensive, incorporating many of the documents already listed below. On pg 73, Fire Chief Dan Carroll says: "I would consider [a] new traffic study a requirement. With NETA expecting to quadruple their business we believe it is warranted." He then offers specific advice on how to get the study done. In response, NETA's attorney refers to Chief Carroll's requirement an "opinion" and says that his report will be passed on to the Select Board along with the reports from all the other necessary entities. It's unclear whether this 2-week traffic study required by the Fire Department as a condition of their recommendation was ever carried out.
10 Oct 2018NETA receives Zoning Board approval for recreational marijuana retailingThe Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) votes to "Add a Recreational Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) to a Medical Marijuana Dispensary" at 160 Washington Street in Brookline Village, operated by NETA.
27 Sep 2018NETA's request for a zoning appeal hearingThe application packet includes site & floor plans, reports from several town departments (Health, Police, Transportation, and Fire), a redacted copy of their licensing application to the CCC, and a zoning analysis--although none of these attached documents are available on the town's website at the moment. NETA asserts in this application that the switch from medical to retail sales "will not adversely affect the neighborhood. All alterations to the structure to allow for the sale of recreational use marijuana will be interior. The proposal will not cause a nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The site has adequate parking and will employ appropriate measures as needed to address any increase in traffic."
24 Sep 2018NETA's recreational marijuana retailing application moves on to the Zoning Board of AppealsNETA's application to add recreational sales to its operations is denied based on zoning non-conformance, allowing them to move on to the next phase of the process: the zoning appeal hearing.
14 Sep 2018Review of NETA's Traffic & Parking Study and proposed Transportation Demand Mgmt Plan From the DPW Engineering & Transportation Division
27 Aug 2018Review of NETA's Transportation Demand Mgmt PlanFrom the Police Department. This report dismisses out of hand the recorded public complaint that NETA's parking lot location causes congestion and puts pedestrians at risk. The author argues that exiting vehicles "rarely" cause congestion--which is in itself demonstrably untrue, as the high number of vehicles exiting the drop-off zone at peak periods are not all controlled by the police detail in conjunction with the traffic lights, as the author asserts; however, the more significant (but unaddressed) problem is that stopped vehicles waiting to enter the lot and drop-off zone are the primary cause of congestion and pedestrian endangerment.
29 May 2018Town Meeting passes Warrant Article 17.Lays out the specific amendments to the town's zoning by-laws with regards to  any "Marijuana Retailer, Marijuana Product Manufacturer, Marijuana Cultivator, Independent Testing Laboratory, or any other type of Marijuana-related business licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission or relevant State agency."
22 May 2018Reports of Select Board & Advisory Committee on the Articles in the Warrant for the Annual Town MeetingIncludes detailed content on NETA
14 May 2018NETA submits plans to Building DeptNETA submits to the Town of Brookline's Building Department plans drawn up by Dennis Colwell Architects to convert the medical marijuana facility to one that meets requirements for recreational use retail sales.
26 Apr 2018NETA secures 15 offsite parking spaces in private garageZoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approves the Homewood Suites's request to rent out 15 of their garage parking spaces during the day.
24 Apr 2018Host Community AgreementA Host Community Agreement (between a proposed retailer and a MA city or town) is required by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission before a state-level application for recreational marijuana retailing can be submitted.
12 Apr 2018Unable to locate this itemTranscript of a "Community Outreach Hearing" held at the Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon St, referred to in the report (27 Aug 2018) from the Police Department
01 Sep 2017The Cannabis Control Comission (CCC) is created.The Cannabis Control Commission will go on to take on many of the oversight, licensing, and regulatory functions related to marijuana retailing in the Commonwealth.
01 Aug 2017The Cannabis Advisory Board is created.The Cannabis Advisory Board will eventually become the Cannabis Control Commission, which will go on to take on many of the oversight, licensing, and regulatory functions related to marijuana retailing in the Commonwealth.
28 Jul 2017An Act to Ensure Safe Access to MarijuanaMassachusetts legislature passes An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana, officially legalizing retail sales in the Commonwealth and laying out specific regulations and requirements for such operations.
Nov 2016Question 4 approved by MA voters.Massachusetts voters approve the sale of marijuana for recreational use by passing Question 4 on the ballot.
10 Feb 2016NETA opens for marijuana retail salesNETA opens its marijuana retail shop at 160 Washington Street, permitted to sell marijuana only to holders of medical marijuana cards.
09 Apr 2015Licensing Review CommitteeA critical part of the process for obtaining a license to sell marijuana in Massachusetts.
26 Mar 2015Licensing Review Committee discussion of draft conditions regarding NETA's RMD license applicationDebate before sending their report to the Select Board. Includes public comments. Brookline's Licensing Review Committee discusses the draft conditions to be submitted to the Select Board regarding NETA's RMD license application. It is "agreed that the Committee needs to meet again" before making a recommendation.
[Video]
26 Mar 2015Planning Board Meeting minutesOn that same day, the Planning Board unanimously recommends NETA's approval for a special permit to operate as an RMD, subject to specific conditions, including annual review of the TDM plan.
25 Mar 2015Licensing Review Committee Meeting minutesBrookline's Licensing Review Committee holds a public hearing (including public comments) on the draft conditions to be submitted to the Select Board as it considers NETA's RMD license application. Member Dewitt mentions a memo from the US Attorney for MA warning about increase in scrutiny of RMDs with increased risk of redistribution to minors, whether or not they were operating within 1000 feet of a school. Suggests that MA/Brookline had already been warned about this radius as a trigger for closer scrutiny.
[Video]
04 Mar 2015Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan[archived copy]
04 Mar 2015Unable to locate this itemTraffic Impact and Parking Study prepared by Stantec, referred to in Stantec's separate TDM plan (04 Mar 2015)
06 Nov 2012Massachusetts voters approve Question 3, the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative.Approved with a 63% majority, legalizing the sale of marijuana in the Commonwealth for medicinal purposes.