For the second time in a week, Amesbury Road neighbors put on a united front to express their disapproval against retail marijuana in their backyard. On Thursday, the target of their ire was Haverwell Market, headed by CEO Christopher Edwards.
Outlining his business plan during a state-mandated community outreach meeting at Northern Essex Community College, Edwards faced criticism from neighbors who argued he was taking a good neighborhood and making it worse.
“This is an area where there’s drug deals non-stop: Right off the highway—easy access for people from New Hampshire and Maine,” resident Dan McDonald said. “Now there’s marijuana non-stop.”
Edwards—the CEO of Salem’s Alternative Therapies Group—plans to sell a variety of marijuana products priced at $350 per ounce and will not accept credit cards at the start of business. He does, however, have a bank willing to conduct twice-daily cash pickups.
According to Edwards, Haverwell Market plans to be built to accommodate nine point of sale stations and 200 customers per day. An average transaction is estimated at three to five minutes, the CEO said. Catering to medical and retail consumers, Edwards told WHAV 200 customers is a realistic estimate given the 350 currently served in his Salem store today.
Edwards declined to address the so-called “inventory issue” that shuttered Alternative Therapies Group for over a month due to a tech glitch earlier this year. Though the business has since resumed operation, the Cannabis Control Commission expressed concern over what they deemed “improper inventory management practices.”
He did, however, say that the North Shore community has—in his opinion—improved since ATG moved into the industrial park. He expects his new company Haverwell will foster just as positive a relationship in Haverhill.
“There were transient people and break-ins in semi-abandoned buildings and since our presence, that’s been cleaned up,” Edwards rebuffed. “We’re raised the security profile and reduced any crime that was already occurring.”
Haverwell is the fifth retail dispensary to enter negotiations with the City of Haverhill to do business and the second to inquire about a location on Amesbury Road.
Mellow Fellows hopes to set up shop at 330 Amesbury Road, while Caroline Pineau owns Stem at 124 Washington St.. CNA Stores, 558 River St., and Full Harvest Moonz, 101 Plaistow Road, round out the rest of the shops that will seek City Council approval during the upcoming special permit process.