Former HHS Teacher Brown Details Planned City Marijuana Dispensary

(File photograph.)

The Mellow Fellows LLC includes former Haverhill High School teacher E. Philip Brown. (File photograph)

Retired Haverhill High teacher E. Philip Brown is living proof of just how marijuana can alleviate health ailments—he takes the drug for sleep apnea—and now the city resident hopes to open his own dispensary to help others.

Registering his business with the state in September Brown currently oversees Mellow Fellows alongside business partners and fellow Hillies Timothy Riley and Charles Emery. As Brown tells WHAV, the trio is well on their way to opening a retail marijuana shop—but is waiting until the city confirms zoning before sharing more details.

Of paramount importance for the longtime city educator active in civic groups is to make sure the retail shop is done right. After all, he tells WHAV, it is his reputation on the line.

“We’re as concerned as anybody else in the city, and if this is going to happen, we want to make sure it’s done the right way and that the city will benefit,” Brown tells WHAV, adding that he and his business partners anticipate being able to offer parent counseling and incentives for the random drug testing of high school students.

A self-described “party animal” in high school and college, Brown stayed away from the drug until enrolling in a Massachusetts General Hospital clinical trial that prescribed pot to combat sleep apnea. Since November, Brown has taken the drug nightly and sleeps peacefully.

“I just do it at night before I go to bed and I sleep very well. I haven’t used sleeping pills in the last year—maybe just once—and there’s no going back,” he explains. “This is the best sleep I’ve had in 30 years.”

Hoping to open a Haverhill space next spring, Brown’s Mellow Fellows are in a “hurry up and wait” holding pattern until the city confirms zoning in January. The trio has made city officials aware of their intentions, but must wait to file a host agreement and formally petition the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, he said.

As WHAV previously reported, the Planning Board will take up the zoning issue on Jan. 9, with the City Council voting for a final time on Jan. 15.