Haverhill Council Considers Permit for River Street Marijuana Shop CNA Stores Tuesday

CNA plans to sell recreational marijuana at 558 River St. in Haverhill. (Courtesy rendering)

Haverhill city councilors Tuesday night will hear from River Street marijuana shop hopefuls Robert DiFazio and Billie Haggard during the latest special permit session, ahead of the Amesbury-based entrepreneurs’ plan to do business at 558 River St.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Carrying a tagline of “a completely natural alternative,” CNA plans to sell product obtained from wholesaler Sanctuary Medicinals at their 4,000 sq. ft. shop, which was preliminarily approved by Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini in December 2018 by way of a Host Community Agreement, one of the several necessary steps required to do business before final licenses are granted by the state Cannabis Control Commission.

As outlined in their agreement, CNA plans to pay the City of Haverhill three percent of gross sales annually for five years, along with a $25,000 charitable contribution. DiFazio, a Navy veteran previously told WHAV intends to earmark his funds for the Haverhill-based Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and the cancer charity LUNGSTRONG.

In an effort to employ as many as 20 local servicemen and women, DiFazio has already been in touch with Haverhill’s veterans’ services officer Amanda Buckley. CNA staff tell WHAV veterans—especially those with Haverhill residency—will get priority during the hiring process.

During Tuesday night’s Council meeting, DiFazio and CNA’s attorney, Michael Migliori, are expected to detail the shop’s security plan, traffic mitigation and other operating procedures.

Above all, the CNA team is committed to being good corporate neighbors and business partners, they tell WHAV.

“We’re working with the city of Haverhill to make sure this is a positive impact on Haverhill, not a negative one,” said DiFazio, who is the president of six-year-old Ward Hill data services company Critical Solutions Group. “With CNA Stores, it will be done right – there will be no negative impacts. We will make sure of that.”

CNA would be Haverhill’s third retail marijuana shop to win approval by the local governing body. Plaistow Road’s Full Harvest Moonz was granted a permit to move forward with licensing efforts on June 11, while Caroline Pineau’s downtown Stem earned approval on June 18.

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