Downtown Marijuana Shop Foes Ask Federal Court to Send Case Back to State for Ruling

In yet another tit for tat, property owners seeking to stop the opening of a Washington Street marijuana retailer today asked a federal judge to quickly send the case back to a Massachusetts court. The action before U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs is intended to secure a state Land Court ruling barring the city from going ahead with next week’s special permit hearing on a recreational marijuana shop. The case was brought by J. Bradford Brooks and Lloyd Jennings, trustees of property at 128 Washington St., and Stavros Dimakis, as owner of Mark’s Deli and as a trustee of Railroad Square property. The City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday, June 18 on Caroline Pineau’s request for a special permit to operate her proposed “Stem” shop at 124 Washington St. Represented by both Boston and Washington, D.C., lawyers, Brooks, a former Haverhill city councilor; Jennings; and Dimakis, a candidate for City Council, argue Haverhill’s marijuana retail zones ordinance is illegal under state law because it violates required buffer zones near schools and parks, allows illegal “spot zoning” and is inconsistent with federal law prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, sales or possession of marijuana.

Cannabis Advocates, Haverhill Women Rallying This Weekend in Support of Pineau

Haverhill women and cannabis advocates from across the state are set to rally behind city small business owner Caroline Pineau as she continues her quest to open a retail marijuana shop on Washington Street. Marblehead’s Mike Crawford plans to host a live taping of his Saturday morning politics and cannabis-centric Young Jurks podcast June 8 starting at 11 a.m. outside of Mark’s Deli, 2 Railroad Square, in an effort to bring attention to the lawsuit deli owner Stavros Dimakis has brought against Pineau. Crawford, who uses cannabis medically, tells WHAV he believes the suit is a form of “extortion” and wants Haverhill residents to be aware of what he calls potentially far-reaching ramifications. When he’s in the Merrimack Valley this weekend, Crawford intends to act on behalf of the hundreds of local medical marijuana patients he’s seen benefit from the drug, including his late friend Michael L. Malta. “The reason I’m involved is because this lawsuit affects everybody in the state.

‘Nothing Preventing’ Special Permit Hearing as Marijuana Case Against Pineau Moves to Federal Court

Two days after a Council candidate, Realtor and local business owner filed suit contesting Caroline Pineau’s downtown marijuana shop Stem, the case has been moved to federal court, but City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. tells WHAV Pineau’s upcoming special permit hearing shouldn’t be impacted. As WHAV exclusively reported on Wednesday, Council candidate Stavros Dimakis joined Realtor J. Bradford Brooks and Lloyd Jennings to bring suit against the City of Haverhill and Pineau, alleging that her proposed Washington Street marijuana shop would “destroy” the downtown business district. According to Cox, the Haverhill City Council still plans to hear from Pineau as scheduled. “At this time, there is nothing preventing the special permit hearing from going forward on June 18,” he told WHAV Friday. In their original claim filed in Land Court, Dimakis, Brooks and Jennings—represented by Boston-based attorneys Alvin S. Nathanson and Scott A. Schlager—contested the validity of her location’s zoning, arguing that Stem would have a negative impact on the area.

Council Candidate, Realtor Sue City, Pineau Over Proposed Downtown Marijuana Store

Correction: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about a 10th Circuit Court case involving Healthy Pharms. Nathanson & Goldberg, P.C. was not involved in this case. Instead, two separate cases--Crimson Galeria et als. v. Healthy Pharms, Inc. et als. and Crimson Galeria et als. v. Healthy Pharms, Inc. et als.

Haverhill Councilors Reject Plan to Ask Voters to Rethink Marijuana Legalization

A majority of Haverhill City Councilors say voters spoke clearly in 2016, and there is no need to put the question of recreational marijuana availability back on the ballot. Council President John A. Michitson and Councilors Joseph J. Bevilacqua and Timothy J. Jordan were the only ones Tuesday night to favor various options for asking voters to decide the question again this November. Bevilacqua, for example, said he spoke to residents of all ages and backgrounds. “What they told me, they didn’t realize, they could be actually in their backyards. What they told me was they weren’t aware the fact there could be a multitude…it could be up to six (shops) potentially,” Bevilacqua said.

Haverhill Council to Hear Special Permit Plan for Proposed River St. Dispensary July 9

Veteran-owned and operated CNA Stores is the latest proposed retail marijuana dispensary to petition Haverhill’s City Council for a special permit, with CEO Robert DiFazio set to go before the local governing body on Tuesday, July 9 for permission to open his 558 River St. shop, he tells WHAV. First outlining plans for his 4,000 square-foot space for Haverhill neighbors in February, DiFazio and business partner Billie Haggard tell WHAV they intend to be good corporate neighbors. “We’re working with the city of Haverhill to make sure this is a positive impact on Haverhill, not a negative one,” said DiFazio, who is the president of six-year-old Ward Hill data services company Critical Solutions Group. “With CNA Stores, it will be done right – there will be no negative impacts.

Traffic Stalls Plaistow Road Marijuana Shop Vote; Return to Voters Plan Dies Procedurally

Traffic congestion at the New Hampshire border emerged as the largest sticking point for a proposed recreational marijuana store—the first to come before the Haverhill City Council for a special permit. After hours of debate, councilors postponed a decision on whether to allow Full Harvest Moonz’ proposed 95 Plaistow Road to advance. The public hearing also delivered the revelation developer Janet Kupris plans backup shuttle parking on Amesbury Road—the only neighborhood where two other pot shops are already proposed. Shattuck Street resident Chris Todino summed up the concern. “We are the ones who are going to have to deal with traffic studies that are showing that the traffic is actually as close to the lowest grade it could possibly get, and it’s only going to get worse,” he said.

Group Seeks to Clear Air: No Special Treatment; Other Pot Shop, Condos Bid on Amesbury Road Site

Mellow Fellows, one of two groups proposing a retail marijuana shop on Amesbury Road, says it received no special treatment and wasn’t the only one considering such a use for the property. The three owners of Mellow Fellows, proposing to open in the former Seafood Etc., 330 Amesbury Road, are launching an online information campaign this week in advance of filing a special permit application. Vice President E. Philip Brown, released a statement saying another marijuana retailer and a condominium developer were already eyeing the restaurant site. “There were only a couple zones left that were not claimed,” Brown says. “We had a difficult time finding landlords who could lease to us due to federal restrictions.