Neither Amesbury Road Marijuana Shop Has Requested Waivers Ahead of Haverhill Special Permit Hearings

(File photograph.)

With just days to go until Tuesday’s special permit hearing for Amesbury Road’s dueling marijuana shops, neither Mellow Fellows at 330 Amesbury Road nor Haverwell Market at 399 Amesbury Road has filed waiver paperwork, WHAV confirms.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

According to city rules, there must be one half-mile between shops and while the Amesbury Road locations are only one-fifth of a mile apart, they are in two different zones that border one another—Amesbury Road East and Amesbury Road West. Mellow Fellows plans to open at the former Seafood Etc. restaurant—now owned by City Councilor Michael S. McGonagle and his sister Kathy McGonagle Darby—while Haverwell’s Chris Edwards plans to set up shop behind the Mobil station.

Waivers would take the distance issue off the table.

While Edwards and Mellow Fellows co-owner Phil Brown did not comment on the waivers to WHAV, Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas tells WHAV no one has formally filed a document with her office. There is no deadline to do so, she said.

Going into Tuesday night’s special permit hearings, both companies are confident Haverhill’s City Council will consider all aspects of their business plans. City solicitor William D. Cox Jr. has in the past advised the Council to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each application independent of any other application that may come before them.

Edwards, represented by Haverhill attorney Bill Faraci, tells WHAV he won the right to present his proposal first after a well-documented back-and-forth, and intends to highlight what he calls an “attractive, professional” outpost that will provide jobs for 30 locals and boost the city’s property tax base.

“The Haverwell Market team is highly experienced in operating licensed cannabis facilities. We expect to generate significant revenue for the city without any negative impact on the neighborhood,” said Edwards.

Brown tells WHAV the Mellow Fellows, including lifelong Hillies Charles Emery and Tim Riley—are also committed to being good neighbors and corporate citizens.

“We feel bad about the controversies that have been caused by the cannabis store approval process. This process was new to everyone involved. We’re sure that the community will eventually understand that our store will be the best use for that location compared to other uses that are being considered,” Brown, represented by Boston-based Attorney Jim Smith, said.

Both companies faced harsh criticism earlier this year at community outreach meetings, where neighbors banded together to express outrage. At issue: The potential for crime, increased traffic and—in the words of neighbor Daniel McDonald during the Haverwell session—“drug deals non-stop.”

Should one or both Amesbury Road locations be permitted, they would join the three already set to open in Haverhill: Stem at 124 Washington St., Full Harvest Moonz at 101 Plaistow Road, and CNA Stores at 558 River St. All shops must secure licensing from the state Cannabis Control Commission before being able to fully open for business.

97.9 WHAV FM plans to have full coverage of the Aug. 20 special permit hearing. Have a marijuana-related story tip to share in the meantime? Email [email protected]

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