Second Amesbury Road Retail Marijuana Shop Plan Goes Up in Smoke…For Now

Chris Edwards petitioned Haverhill's City Council on Aug. 20 during a special permit hearing for his Amesbury Road shop Haverwell. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The company proposing a second recreational marijuana store on Amesbury Road is temporarily pulling its special permit request.

Haverwell Market, which came under scrutiny over its ownership, would have been Haverhill fifth permitted adult marijuana store if approved Tuesday. In an email to city councilors today, Council President John A. Michitson said simply, “NEWS FLASH: Haverwell to Withdraw Special Permit Proposal (seeking without prejudice).” The Council is not obligated to honor the “without prejudice” request. If not, Haverwell Market would have to wait to bring back another proposal, or show there is a significant change in its proposal.

William Faraci, the attorney representing Haverwell during the special permit hearings, had no comment when reached by WHAV Friday afternoon.

Cannabis entrepreneur Christopher Edwards went before the Council Aug. 20 for a special permit for a new building at 399 Amesbury Road. Members, led by Councilor William J. Macek, tabled the request after 11th hour ownership questions came to light. Councilor Colin F. LePage also said he received notification of Haverwell Market’s corporate name change the previous Friday.

“Not to dispute Chris Edwards and what he’s done, but the concern is that we’re making a deal and a permit with the owners and that hasn’t been fully represented and that’s what I’m very concerned about,” LePage said.

According to Edwards, the entity is actually a company called TGIG, and Haverwell LLC is a “totally-owned subsidiary” of that company. Further complicating the issue, Edwards said he doesn’t even plan to call his business Haverwell. “Haverwell Market was always a placeholder and ultimately we intend to operate the facility as The Grove,” Edwards said.

Despite councilor objections, Edwards did not publicly identify the three stakeholders of TGIG, other than alluding to the fact that he is linked to the company of the same name in Nevada.

Haverwell Market’s proposed site is diagonally across route 110 from the I-495 ramps at exit 52. Edwards, who opened the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary in Salem, Mass., planned to lease space in a strip shopping center proposed by developers Stephen Stapinski and King Weinstein.

Stapinski told WHAV Haverwell would use a storefront 4,800 square feet, while another 1,200-square-foot storefront would also be available for rent when the building is constructed.

Councilors previously granted special permits to retailers Stem,124 Washington St., Full Harvest Moonz, 101 Plaistow Road, CNA Stores, 558 River St.; and Mellow Fellows, 330 Amesbury Road. All shops must secure licensing from the state Cannabis Control Commission before being able to fully open for business.

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