WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) – The idea of opening a “topless cannabis dispensary” at Club Castaway was brought to the attention of the Town of Whately Selectboard last week.

During the Whately Selectboard meeting held on Thursday, February 16th, owners Nicholas Spagnola and Julius Sokol spoke about possible plans for Club Castaway located at 226 State Road.

226 State Rd LLC purchased the property in August 2019 for $425,000, according to public records. Spagnola told the Selectboard that they had to close shortly after buying the club due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Club Castaway owners plan to reopen the strip club within 60 days and at some point transition to a marijuana dispensary. They approached the Whately Selectboard to put the idea out for feedback of opening it as a retail marijuana business.

Spagnola told the Whately Selectboard that an agreement is being made with Shine Diamond LLC to purchase their cannabis provisional license that was issued by the Cannabis Control Commission to open a recreational dispensary.

The business partners are trying to figure out what the best use for the property is.

“Our goal would be to operate a topless dispensary and to remove nude dancing and alcohol from the license,” Nicholas Spagnola said.

One of the questions from a Selectboard member asked Spagnola who was going to be topless, he stated the following:

“Who’s going to be topless? It may surprise you but we’ve never had a shortage of employees who wanted to work at Castaways. I do think, some of our former employees that we’ve worked with would love to be involved with something like this. We’re confident we can create the protocol to create a safe working environment like we did at Castaways. I think we can come up with a framework that works and that drives business to the site. And just come up with a management protocol that makes the whole concept a win-win.”

“The idea here was to just have an open discussion about it before we put more time and effort and other people’s time and effort into it,” Julius Sokol told the Whately Selectboard.

Chair Selectboard member Joyce Palmer-Fortune told the owners that there are a lot of legal questions about the license that still need to be answered however, she had no opinion or feedback to offer for the future of Castaways.

The owners also included the possibility of making a section of the club into a consumption lounge when or if that becomes available in Massachusetts.

According to the application of Shine Diamond LLC, the marijuana establishment was proposed for 85 State Road.

The Town of Whately Zoning Board would have to approve the transfer of the cannabis provisional license.