While Developer Withdraws Cannabis Farm Plan, Haverhill Council Votes to Keep It Away

Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

The Haverhill City Council last night put the kibosh on a request to allow a particular cannabis cultivation operation in the Ward Hill Business Park.

Andre Colon, CEO of True House Cannabis of Lawrence, withdrew the petition through a lawyer before the hearing, but councilors acted to ensure the plan could not be revived later. Councilor William J. Macek, noting recommendations against rezoning, sought to limit the chance of the proposal coming back.

“Based upon the recommendations of the Planning Board, which are all negative on this request, that it be added to be a withdrawn with prejudice,” he said.

Withdrawn with prejudice effectively means the petition, as presented, is dismissed permanently.

Colon had asked the city for a zoning change, allowing a building at 25 Bond St. to house a business that grows cannabis for distribution to licensed marijuana retail outlets.

That plan was opposed earlier by the Planning Board and by Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. They claimed such spot-zoning undermined the process of establishing cannabis operation zones. It was also noted that the Bond Street property might be too close to a Montessori school and day care.

Colon, a former substance abuse counselor, did not attend last night’s meeting.

The Council dismissed the plan by a vote of 8-0 with Councilor Michael S. McGonagle abstaining.

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