Mellow Fellows, which has been awarded a special permit to open a retail marijuana shop at 330 Amesbury Road, is making progress negotiating a host agreement with the city—a process slowed by federal scrutiny.
The company’s lawyer, James Smith, tells WHAV there have been delays across the Commonwealth as a result of inquiries by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. Other than Fall River, where its mayor has been charged with extorting marijuana vendors, Smith says, “This (delay) is happening around the state. The U.S. attorney has subpoenaed communities around the state…I suspect, probably all…They’re looking for things, that at least in my experience, don’t exist.”
The lack of a host agreement—required by state regulations—for Haverhill, though, means Mellow Fellows must have a second community outreach meeting Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., at Haverhill Public Library, 99 Main St. The second meeting is required since establishments must hear from the public within six months of seeking state permission to operate. The first outreach meeting took place last April, but delays in obtaining a host agreement with the city have kept the company from obtaining state permission.
In light of the added scrutiny, Smith says, he doesn’t blame the city. “I understand them. They should take their time.”
Wednesday’s meeting will reintroduce Mellow Fellow’ principals’ Phil Brown, Tim Riley and Charles Emery and provide residents an overview of the plan for the former Seafood Etc. restaurant, near I-495.
The Haverhill City Council granted a special permit to the firm back in August. A civil suit against the approval was filed in October by abutter Steven Eddy, but the case was dismissed by agreement Nov 13.