Stem Haverhill Plans Inaugural ‘Bong & Pong Championship’ to Support YWCA Programs

Stem Haverhill is having its first “Bong & Pong Championship” next week in support of YWCA sexual assault and domestic violence programs.

Stem Haverhill founder and owner Caroline Pineau are asking table tennis and cannabis enthusiasts and others over the age of 21 to take part in the championship Monday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Haverhill Renaissance Golf Club, 377 Kenoza St., Haverhill. A portion of ticket sales will be distributed to the YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts to help support sexual assault victims.

“Since day one, we at Stem Haverhill have established a commitment to support local nonprofit organizations that provide great services to the community, and this great event will help the Haverhill YWCA to continue its important work with sexual assault victims.  We’re looking forward to a great event for a great cause,” Pineau said. YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts CEO Susan Staples added, “This year the YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts set out to expand our services and impact the lives of the families we serve, and Stem Haverhill answered the call to help us to do so.” Staples explained Stem provided store space to provide information about domestic violence and sexual assault services. In addition to the ping pong competition, the event features a hot glass working demonstration by Witch DR Glass Blowing Studio of Salem.

Cannabis, Printing, Health and Other Employers Hiring at April 27 MakeIT Haverhill Job Fair

Employers will be interviewing for a variety of jobs—including those in the cannabis, offset printing, health care and social service sectors—at MakeIT Haverhill’s April 27 job fair. Entities seeking to hire are Bradford & Bigelow Printing, U.S. Postal Service, Amazon, Opportunity Works, A Better Life Homecare, Community Action, L’Arche Boston North, Waystone Health & Human Services and Mass CultivatED. Mass CultivatED describes itself as “the first in the nation jails to jobs program for the cannabis industry. It is offering job opportunities in its industry for individuals, including those with misdemeanor offenses. MakeIT Haverhill says the job fair presents opportunities to meet local employers in a friendly environment where bi-lingual assistance is available for Spanish speakers.

Decision on Cannabis Retailer’s Fight Over ‘Impact’ Fees a Year Away; Judge Decries ‘Bickering’

A court decision over the legality of cannabis “impact fees” Haverhill charges a local retailer is about a year away. As expected, the final pre-trial conference Tuesday, presided over by Judge Jeffrey T. Karp in Essex County Superior Court, Newburyport, did nothing to resolve the issue itself, but did set a date for the court case to begin. In fact, the court heard no peripheral issues such as settlement talks between Haverhill Stem and Mayor James J. Fiorentini and the City of Haverhill. Stem attorney Thomas K. MacMillan told the judge he expects the trial will take between 15 to 25 days, a length of time the judge said would not be available until next year noting that, due to COVID-19, the court is only now hearing cases from 2016. Ultimately, all parties agreed to a start date of Monday, Feb.

Haverhill City Council Signs Off on Paying for Substance Abuse Programs, But Asks if it is Enough

The Haverhill City Council gave its approval this week to allocating money to a pair of drug abuse and addiction programs, but questioned whether the amount is enough to be effective. The two programs, Cannabis Prevention and Intervention and Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment, are to be operated by NFI Massachusetts, an agency with Haverhill roots dating back to 1969. The company offers residential substance abuse and, since 2015, has also provided a social worker to help police when dealing with overdose services. Kim Boiselle, director of the Structured Outpatient Addiction Program, described some of the NFI’s work . “We provide individual group and family therapy.

Haverhill Wins Round in Cannabis Impact Fee Case, But Judge Calls City’s Eventual Success in Question

Haverhill won the latest round against a suit brought by a downtown cannabis retailer, but the Superior Court judge expressed no confidence the city will eventually succeed. Superior Court Judge James F. Lang called his own decision “constrained” by the need for more factfinding. Stem Haverhill previously asked the court to quickly conclude the case over disputed local impact fees in Stem’s favor. The case was heard Nov. 15 in Newburyport and the decision was made public Monday.

Northern Essex Community College Begins Offering 8-Week Cannabis Industry Certificate Courses

Northern Essex Community College is taking registrations for three cannabis industry-related certificate courses. It is the first community college in northeastern Massachusetts to offer job training in the industry, offering Advanced Manufacturing Agent, Advanced Dispensary Associate Program and Advanced Cultivation Technician Program. The courses are administered by Ventura, Calif.-based Green Flower. “At NECC, we are committed to offering training for upwardly mobile jobs and responding to the need of the local industry. We’re excited for this latest collaboration which was two years in the making and includes many partnerships,” says Northern Essex Vice President of Institutional Advancement Allison Dolan-Wilson.

Haverhill Councilors Note New Cannabis Fee Law, Seek Money for Drug Prevention, Treatment

Haverhill city councilors are expected tonight to discuss the impact of a new state law requiring renegotiation of impact fees paid by cannabis retailers and communities. Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski and Council Vice President John A. Michitson placed the item on City Council agenda. They appeared to acknowledge expected dollars from such agreements may not be available, noting the need for “allocation of other funding towards preventative and addiction treatment services.”

As WHAV reported a month ago, Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation mandating new host agreements with cities and towns following what one Haverhill cannabis shop owned calls “municipal extortion that has hampered small entrepreneurs.” Caroline Pineau, CEO and owner of Stem of downtown Haverhill, was among those advocating for a change in the law. She went so far as to file suit last year against Haverhill, saying adult-use cannabis shop should not pay “community impact” fees unless the city proves the added cost of hosting such businesses. Last January, councilors agreed to use Cannabis Local Impact Fees, collected from the city’s four retailers, to pay for youth mental health programs. Councilors agreed to requests by Mayor James J. Fiorentini to add $171,000 to the city’s Youth Activities/Mental Health Stabilization Fund and use $42,000 to pay for analyses of several risk behavior surveys designed to help develop to fight youth substance abuse.

Baker Signs Cannabis Reform, Limiting Fees Cities Charge; Law a Victory for Stem that Sued Haverhill

A court battle between Haverhill and a downtown cannabis shop may be moot now that Gov. Charlie Baker has signed legislation that requires communities to renegotiate “impact fees” in host agreements. Besides forcing renegotiation of host community agreements, the bill creates a Social Equity Trust Fund which would pay for loans and grants aimed at supporting people of color and others “disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs” and move closer to social pot consumption sites. The bill was previously approved by both houses of the state legislature. It was supported by such local legislators as Sen. Diana DiZoglio and Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Lenny Mirra, Andy X. Vargas and Christina A. Minicucci.