Bevilacqua Wins Approval for Marijuana Delivery Review; Worries About Newly Permitted Shops

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier)

Concerned about the impact of newly approved delivery service and social consumption cafes, Haverhill city councilors approved investigating how new regulations affects the city’s recreational marijuana store permitting.

Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua, who has opposed siting adult-use marijuana stores in Haverhill, Tuesday night sought to find out if special permits previously granted need to be changed.

“During the discussions of the four pot shops that were approved by the City Council, there was no mention of delivery, and the delivery could be literally anywhere in the city, anywhere outside of the city as well,” he said.

Councilors voted to approve sending a letter to City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. asking if special permit conditions must be updated. The motion passed 7-0 with Council President John A. Michitson absent and Councilor Michael S. McGonagle abstaining.

Bevilacqua also asked—and the same councilors agreed—to ask the Police Department for a list of possible conditions or requirements imposed on delivery drivers. He explained his reasoning.

“Right now it’s a cash business and we’ve all seen—we’ve seen pizza delivery people held up. This is going to be much more extensive, I think, in terms of that.”

Bevilacqua said the issue is linked to the current vaping ban, issued by Gov. Charlie Baker last week. He contended people are buying marijuana at retail stores to use while vaping.

Bevilacqua, as he has previously, saved his harshest remarks for state regulators. “I’ve always believed the Cannabis Control Commission is not a regulator by any means, but rather is an advocate and an expediter and I think the next thing that will come after delivery is cannabis—or pot shop—cafes. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen but I think that’s coming next.”

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