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.

Council Grants Pineau June 18 Special Permit Hearing for Downtown Marijuana Dispensary Stem

Haverhill is one step closer to a retail marijuana dispensary in the downtown business district after the City Council unanimously granted Stem owner Caroline Pineau a special permit hearing date Tuesday night. Pineau, hoping to do business at 124 Washington St., will petition the Council in the next step of her application process on Tuesday, June 18. “I’m so appreciative of the support from the many Haverhill residents, downtown neighbors and business owners that have reassured me that my community-focused mission to bring a safe and secure, state-of-the art cannabis dispensary to Washington Street will help enhance our downtown business district.”

As WHAV previously reported, Pineau was among the first to ink a host community agreement with Mayor James J. Fiorentini in December 2018 and is considered a economic empowerment applicant in the eyes of the state Cannabis Control Commission, giving her priority among Haverhill’s pool of applicants. Pineau intends to do business from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon-7 p.m. on Sundays. Other logistics including her traffic study, security plan and business operating procedures will be discussed during the special permit hearing before the Council.

Stem Marijuana Shop Hopeful Pineau Completes Cannabis Mentoring Program

Caroline Pineau, the city woman hoping to open the Stem marijuana dispensary downtown at 124 Washington St., has completed a cannabis mentoring program she tells WHAV will “elevate her business strategy” ahead of the city’s special permit progress. Pineau, who also owns downtown’s Yoga Tree Studio, was one of three budding cannabis entrepreneurs to take part in the Garden Remedies-backed Catalyst Mentoring Program. As part of the program, Pineau and her fellow attendees—a marijuana cultivator from Holyoke and a massage therapist from Shelburne Falls—received hands-on training on how to start a dispensary from others who have done it in the state. “My experience working with the Garden Remedies team was transformational and impactful. The one-on-one mentorship sessions really helped me navigate challenges and elevate my business strategy,” Pineau told WHAV.

Full Harvest Moonz Marijuana Dispensary Preps for May 21 Special Permit Hearing

Haverhill is one step closer to getting the city’s first retail marijuana shop, with councilors Tuesday night voting to grant Plaistow Road dispensary Full Harvest Moonz a special permit hearing on May 21. Headed by Weymouth-based CEO Janet Kupris, the dispensary at 95 Plaistow Road inked a host community agreement with Mayor James J. Fiorentini in December and finalized all traffic study, site plan and security paperwork with the city earlier this month. Attorney Michael Migliori petitioned the Council on behalf of Kupris at Tuesday’s Council meeting, making Full Harvest Moonz the first of Haverhill’s three proposed retail dispensaries to progress to the special permit phase of the licensing process. During the May 21 session with councilors, the Full Harvest Moonz team’s security plan, hours of operation and other logistics will be ironed out, with the nine-member panel voting to approve or deny Kupris permission to do business in the city. Councilor Michael S. McGonagle is expected to sit out special permit proceedings, as he and his sister, Kathy McGonagle Darby, recently purchased the former Seafood Etc.

Amesbury Road Dispensary Haverwell Predicts 200 Customers a Day as Neighbors Fear Crime

For the second time in a week, Amesbury Road neighbors put on a united front to express their disapproval against retail marijuana in their backyard. On Thursday, the target of their ire was Haverwell Market, headed by CEO Christopher Edwards. Outlining his business plan during a state-mandated community outreach meeting at Northern Essex Community College, Edwards faced criticism from neighbors who argued he was taking a good neighborhood and making it worse. “This is an area where there’s drug deals non-stop: Right off the highway—easy access for people from New Hampshire and Maine,” resident Dan McDonald said. “Now there’s marijuana non-stop.”

Edwards—the CEO of Salem’s Alternative Therapies Group—plans to sell a variety of marijuana products priced at $350 per ounce and will not accept credit cards at the start of business.