As Legal Pot Sales Near, Haverhill Council Eyes Stronger Controls

At Tuesday night’s meeting, City Councilors William J. Macek and Joseph J. Bevilacqua plan to discuss local and state regulation of marijuana and related paraphernalia. The discussion comes one week after a majority of councilors supported the start of negotiations with Alternative Therapies Group to build a medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

And it comes just days before the state Cannabis Control Commission’s planned vote on rules for the sale, cultivation and consumption of recreational marijuana.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

The final City Council meeting of the year begins at 7 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Macek said he wants the council to “strengthen the city’s control, oversight and education in all areas of concern that are either directly or indirectly related to underage or illegal use of marijuana and other controlled substances and paraphernalia within the city.”

Bevilacqua asked to discuss the actions taken last week by the Cannabis Control Commission regarding regulation of recreational marijuana.

During two days of public meetings last week, the panel discussed allowing the sale of single-dose marijuana products in restaurants, movie theaters, yoga studios and other public places, with the requirement that the marijuana be consumed before the customer leaves the establishment. The panel signaled it also plans to allow home delivery of marijuana, which would make the drug available to people in communities where its sale is banned.

Last week, Haverhill councilors discussed their intention to institute a moratorium on the sale of recreational marijuana in the city until the commission takes its final vote, which is expected in summer 2018, after a series of public hearings in March. The law allowing recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Also on Tuesday, Mayor James J. Fiorentini intends to inform the council that he has chosen Kearsarge Energy to install a solar array at the closed Old Groveland Road landfill. Just six weeks ago, the city of Amesbury contracted with Kearsarge for a solar installation on a closed Waste Management landfill on South Hunt Road.

Fiorentini promised additional information would be provided to councilors before their first meeting of the new year.