Councilors to Preview Haverhill’s Pot Zoning Plan Tuesday

Haverhill recreational marijuana zones are up for discussion Tuesday at a City Council Administration and Finance subcommittee meeting. (File photograph)

Members of the Haverhill City Council’s Administration and Finance subcommittee will gather to discuss findings of recent field visits to local highway and downtown zones at a public meeting at City Hall on Tuesday.

On Aug. 4, subcommittee chairman Colin F. LePage joined colleagues William J. Macek, Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien, Melinda E. Barrett to visit several commercial highway and downtown zones and plan to discuss their preferences at Tuesday’s meeting.

WHAV was first to report news of Haverhill small business owner Caroline Pineau’s plan to open the retail marijuana dispensary STEM downtown, and her dream may be one step closer to reality should councilors opt to zone for cannabis sales in the city’s business district.

Ahead of the opening of any retail cannabis locations, Haverhill Council members must submit preferences to the Planning Board, a process expected to wrap up before the city’s moratorium on cannabis sales ends Dec. 1. After that, Pineau may pursue a host community agreement with the city and file a formal application with the state.

As WHAV previously reported, Pineau is designated as an economic empowerment applicant already vetted by the state Cannabis Control Commission. Should the city zone for pot shops downtown, Pineau’s application would be fast-tracked for approval.

The owner of downtown’s The Yoga Tree, Pineau shared her plans for STEM with councilors in July. WHAV was the only local media outlet to get a first look at her submission. With guidance from Fishbrook Design architect Matt Juros, Pineau hopes to open what she calls a “safe, secure and sophisticated” dispensary for shoppers who could pump an estimated $8 million annually into the local economy.

“What you gain putting it downtown is that you invite people into the town to behave well. This is the type of establishment that, it is said, will gross $8 million a year,” Juros said. “The first one in any community is going to get a bump as the first one, and gross $12 million a year. I want to have a $12 million store in downtown Haverhill.”

The public is invited to attend Tuesday’s 7 p.m. Council subcommittee meeting, held in room 204 of City Hall at 4 Summer St.