Mellow Fellows, a permitted marijuana retailer, is expected to gain two investors and open by late summer.
The company, operated by three Haverhill residents, remains a tenant at 330 Amesbury Road, Haverhill, even as its landlord changed last Friday. Mac & D Realty, operated by Kathleen Darby and her brother, City Councilor Michael S. McGonagle, sold the property to Mass Prop Invest for $1.35 million. Attorney Jim Smith, representing Mellow Fellows, described the transaction as routine.
“It was really expected from the beginning. There’s no effect at all on the Mellow Fellows. They were tenants yesterday and they will still be tenants tomorrow,” Smith said.
What is significant, Smith explains, is that Arthur Becker, a manager of Mass Prop Invest, will be associated with one of two new investors expected to back the project. “It makes sense from everyone’s perspective to have the property owned by someone in the cannabis industry.”
Smith said negotiations with the second unnamed investor are still in the works.
“Pretty much every cannabis company that opens has investors. There’s no banks. No way to borrow money…The Mellow Fellows (Charles Emery, Timothy Riley and E. Phillip Brown) are the epitome of regular gentlemen. They don’t have that kind of money.”
Smith said the new investors will be included in a filing with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
The Amesbury Road building was built as a restaurant in 1982 and is currently appraised by the city at $397,900. It sold was to Mac & D Realty for $605,000 March 29, 2019. Smith said it is not uncommon for real estate prices to rise once a marijuana retail permit has been granted.
In August of 2019, seven Haverhill city councilors approved a special permit for the business. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua voted against it and McGonagle abstained given his status as the landlord.
Mellow Fellows pledged to deliver the “gold standard” of service with the tagline of “locally owned, locally sourced.” The group confirmed they intend to hire low-income, minority workers and give back to the community through a $22,000 donation to Haverhill Public Schools, in addition to other charitable contributions to be agreed upon in their as-yet-unsigned host community agreement. As with the other shops intending to open in Haverhill, the Mellow Fellows will pay the city three percent of their proceeds annually.