Cannabis Advocates Headed to Haverhill to Support Pineau’s Marijuana Shop Stem at Saturday Rally

Caroline Pineau of Stem, 124 Washington St., Haverhill. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News)

Once again, the cannabis community is rallying behind Haverhill’s Caroline Pineau. Faced with a new lawsuit from Lloyd Jennings, J. Bradford Brooks and Stavros Dimakis that appeals the special permit already approved by city councilors, Pineau intends to open a shop called Stem at 124 Washington St. and this Saturday, marijuana advocates from across the state will come to her aid.

Marblehead’s Mike Crawford is organizing the latest protest with backing from his politics and cannabis-centric Young Jurks podcast, telling WHAV he intends to rally in Haverhill’s Railroad Square area on Oct. 5 starting at 11 a.m. All are welcome, he said.

Crawford, who uses cannabis medically, organized a similar rally attended by more than 50 residents in June to protest what he called “extortion” and bullying on the part the trio.

“The reason I’m involved is because this lawsuit affects everybody in the state. If they’re successful, this could wipe out medical cannabis and wipe out legalization,” he said.
“We’re out to educate about why we’re not happy about what Mark’s Deli is doing and we’re sick of the stigma and bigotry the three businessmen are pulling.”

In a Land Court filing dated Sept. 27, Realtor Brooks, contractor Jennings and City Council hopeful Dimakis argued that in granting Stem’s special permit, the Haverhill City Council “acted arbitrarily, capriciously and in excess of its authority” for a variety of reasons related to zoning and odor mitigation, for example.

All nine councilors—including Michael S. McGonagle, who has abstained from all cannabis-related votes due to a conflict of interest—are mentioned by name in the suit.

As Jennings and Brooks file their latest documents in Land Court, Pineau continues to move forward with her civil suit against the duo alleging they extorted and intimidated her for their own financial gain. In June, Pineau filed court papers that claimed the duo allegedly demanded $75,000 from her as payment for the deck of her property. Fearing for her safety, Pineau had a conversation with Haverhill Police in early April, letting them know she worried Jennings would “burn down the deck” of Stem in his quest to “fight them every step of the way and slow down the opening of her business.”

Both Brooks and Jennings have denied they ever extorted or threatened Pineau.

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