Citing traffic concerns, Edgartown selectmen presented a united front against the town’s first proposed recreational marijuana establishment on Monday, suggesting to developers they wouldn’t support a facility at the often log-jammed Triangle intersection.

“You probably couldn’t have picked a worse location,” Edgartown selectman Arthur Smadbeck told developers. “Traffic, traffic, traffic. That’s a big issue in Edgartown right now.”

The proposal, a first for the town since marijuana was legalized in 2016, became public late last week, when the town put the project on the agenda for its selectmen’s meeting Monday.

According to a letter sent to town administrator James Hagerty in the summer of 2019, the proposed dispensary would be built on a 0.4 acre parcel at the Triangle that is owned by (Trader) Fred Mascolo and would involve about 2,500 square feet of additions.

Developers include Boston-area bar owner and West Tisbury summer resident Noah Eisendrath. Mr. Eisendrath is being represented by lawyer and consultant Joshua Silver, who has developed two marijuana dispensaries in Williamstown and Orange.

Mr. Eisendrath, whose business is known as Main Street Medicinals, has also received a community host agreement with the town of Tisbury to develop a vertically-integrated marijuana cultivation establishment and dispensary on Mechanic Street.

Although the Edgartown project has been in the works for more than a year, the meeting Monday was the first time developers aired the proposal before a public board.

Edgartown selectmen wasted no time making their feelings clear, saying that traffic at the Triangle was already a mess and suggesting that Mr. Silver and Mr. Eisendrath reconsider the proposed site for the facility.

“That might be the worst place,” selectman Michael Donaroma said. “Traffic backs up. The MVC (Martha’s Vineyard Commission) would have troubles with that.”

“I agree with you,” selectman Margaret Serpa said. “It’s a totally bad area...that lot is full with the businesses that are already there. And to add a high volume business, is not the right area.”

Mr. Smadbeck suggested Mr. Silver explore using the Airport Business Park, which is also commercially zoned for retail marijuana establishments.

“If you were going to do this in Edgartown, the Airport Business Park is zoned properly and doesn’t have the traffic issues that the triangle has,” Mr. Smadbeck said.

But Mr. Silver said that he and his business partners had already looked into using the business park and received pushback from the airport administration.

“They were under the opinion that it would jeopardize their registration with the FAA,” Mr. Silver said. “We did reach out. We made an effort. We did have a space that we wanted to use there. But got roadblocked by them.”

In a follow-up call, Martha's Vineyard Airport manager Geoffrey Freeman clarified that the business park is federal aeronautical land released by the FAA for non-aeronautical purposes. Because marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law, the FAA can withold the airport's federal funding if it hosts a retail marijuana establishment. 

"It would be in violation of our grants, assurances and obligations, and we would be potentially on the hook," Mr. Freeman said. 

Mr. Silver noted that the proposed facility would only add about 10 cars per hour, which he considered a small number relative to the site’s overall traffic. But selectmen remained unconvinced, saying they were unlikely to throw their support behind any proposed facility at the site.

“I’m not interested in any kind of a business that is going to add that kind of traffic to the Triangle,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “There are other places on Martha’s Vineyard where you don’t have these kind of traffic issues. And I think you need to explore those before trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. If what you’re looking for is support from the board of selectmen, I think it is going to be a hard sell.”

A community host agreement from the board of selectmen is required to develop the facility, as well as a special permit from the town planning board. Other state and local approvals are also necessary.

In other business, selectmen accepted a gift of ancient arrowheads from Paul Jackson, 2nd. Mr. Jackson collected the arrowheads around Katama and provided them in a framed display to the town.

“It’s an invaluable piece I wanted to safeguard,” Mr. Hagerty said. “To showcase hundreds of thousands of years of Edgartown history.”